China launches 1st mobile telecom satellite

China on early Saturday successfully launched the first satellite for mobile telecommunication.

The Tiantong-01 satellite was launched at 00:22 a.m. Beijing Time, at southwestern China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center, with the Long March-3B carrier rocket.

It is the first satellite of China’s home-made satellite mobile telecom system, and a key part of the country’s space information infrastructure.

More geostationary satellites will be sent into orbit for the system.

Tiantong-01 was designed by China Academy of Space Technology and its ground service will be operated by China Telecom. It will establish a mobile network with ground facilities, providing services for China, the Middle East, Africa and other areas.

The Long March-3B carrier rocket was produced by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. It was the 232nd flight of the Long March series carrier rockets, and the 36th launch of the Long March-3B.

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