BEIJING: China will launch a French-made communications satellite for the Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Holding Limited in the first half of 2012.
A contract for the launch service was signed here Sunday.
The satellite, dubbed APTSTAR-7 and made by the Thales Alenia Space, will be sent into space by China's Long March 3B/E carrier rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China, according to a statement issued by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), the contractor of the launch on Sunday.
The satellite, with a designed life span of 15 years, will function for the service of live television broadcast and communications in Asia, the Middle East, Australia Africa and parts of the European Union.
As the only Chinese company engaged in international commercial satellite launching services, CGWIC, a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, has launched 36 foreign satellites.