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Zhongxing / Chinasat

China Telecommunications Broadcast Satellite (ChinaSat) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China's Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. Its core business includes satellite operation for civil telecommunication broadcast in China, monitoring and control of space segment and earth stations for civil broadcasts, development and operation of satellite communication, and broadcast and television transmission services. Other businesses include tendering for satellite communication projects, satellite communication equipment sales and maintenance, and the provision of technical and consulting services for the above businesses.

Chinasat was established under the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television in 1983 to provide satellite-based TV services to rural China. Over time, increasing responsibilities for network administration and construction of earth stations led ChinaSat to shift ministerial sponsorship to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications [MPT].

To help offset the loss of DFH-2 4 and the delay in the DFH-3 program, China in late 1992 purchased the nearly 9-year-old Spacenet 1 (May, 1984) from GTE. In 1993 the spacecraft, renamed Zhongxing 5 (aka Chinasat 5), was moved to 115.5 degrees E. The spacecraft's payload consists of 18 C-band and six Ku-band transponders. Subsequently, China and INTELSAT reached an agreement on joint ownership of Zhongxing 5 and the to-be-launched INTELSAT 805 (References 244-251).

ChinaSat was essentially an advisory group prior to 1993 when China acquired ChinaSat-5. As the Peoples Liberation Army was by then precluded from engaging in commercial activity, MPT was responsible for the purchase of China's first civilian satellite, and ChinaSat became China's first commercial satellite operator. Following economic reforms that separated telecommunications services from regulation, ChinaSat became a subsidiary of China Telecom, the largest national communications service provider.

Following the unsuccessful launch of DFH-3A in 1994, ChinaSat has replaced the military as the operator of DFHs for commercial applications. ChinaSat-6 [DFH-3B], which was launched in 1997 has experienced attitude stabilization problems which have led to excessive fuel consumption reducing its life expectancy.

ChinaSat-7, a Hughes HS 376 launched on 18 August 1996 by a LM-3 rocket, failed to to reach its intended orbit due to a failure of the thirds stage of the launch vehicle, which ceased operation 48 seconds ahead of schedule during the second phase of its flight. The launch was conducted under a contract signed on 08 April 1996 between Hughes Space and Communications Company and the China Great Wall Industry Corporation. Following ChinaSat-7's launch failure, ChinaSat purchased a second in-orbit satellite (Spacenet-2) in 1997 and renamed it ChinaSat-5R. In March 1997 Space Systems/Loral finalized a $100 million contract to build the Chinasat 8, to provide voice, video and data services throughout China.

ChinaSat operated DFH-3B and ChinaSat-5R, and expects ChinaSat-8 to be launched later in 1998. The system also includes and extensive network of international gateways, VSAT networks, and ancillary facilities, including TT&C stations and training center. ChinaSat operates one of the world's largest domestic satellite networks, with 36 Intelsat standard stations in operation or under construction.

ChinaSat would be the sole distributor of Space Systems/Loral's Globalstar services in China, integrating the Globalstar system with China's existing telephone infrastructure. The first of Chinasat's four planned Globalstar ground station gateways, situated outside of Beijing, is to be operational at Globalstar's launch in China in 1998. Other gateways would be subsequently be added in Guangzhou, Lanzhou and Shanghai.

In January 1997 TRW's Odyssey, a satellite-based personal communications system, entered into a memorandum of understanding giving ChinaSat exclusive rights to distribute Odyssey satellite-based cellular phone, fax and data services in the People's Republic of China.

Under an agreement signed July 19, 2004, Alcatel will design and produce a new-generation broadcasting satellite, known as "Chinasat 9," for the China Satellite Communications Corp. Launching the satellite will make China Satcom the first Chinese company to provide a satellite broadcasting service in China, said an official with the Alcatel Asia-Pacific Headquarters based in Shanghai. Some 280 million Chinese farmers will have access to state-run TV programs with "Chinasat 9" going into operation in 2006. The "Chinasat 9" will be equipped with 22 Ku wave band relay transmitters to provide broadcasting satellite service (BSS). The 4,500-kg satellite will have a life-span of 15 years. "Chinasat 9" will be launched by Alcatel Space, a subsidiary of satellite giant Alcatel atop a China-made Long March carrier rocket. Alcatel chairman Serge Tchuruk said signing of the contract forthe launch of the "Chinasat 9" marks a big step forward in Sino-Alcatel cooperation. He anticipated that China will be a great market for television broadcasting service in future.

China successfully launched the telecommunications satellite "Chinasat 20A" [Zhongxing-20A] into space orbit 25 November 2010. It was carried by a Long March 3A rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, in southwest China's Sichuan Province. "Chinasat 20A"'s major mission is to relay voice, data and television signals. This successful launch will bring better service to China's satellite communications and broadcast television. This is the 135th flight of the Long March series of carrier rockets.

At 00:13, June 21, 2011, China successfully blasted off a new satellite named Chinasat-10 aboard a CZIIIB launch vehicle, from the Xi’chang Satellite Launch Center. 26 minutes after lifting off, the Xi’an ground control center received the data showing that the satellite was separated from the carrier rocket, and entered a geosynchronous orbit with a perigee altitude of 207 km, an apogee altitude of 42225km, and an orbit inclination angle at 26.3 degrees. Chinasat-10 will be employed as a substitute to Chinasat-5B, providing communication and broadcasting services to Chinese and Asia-Pacific users. Enjoying numerous merits, including enhanced capacity, wider coverage, higher reliability, and longer work life over the older models, the new satellite will provide communication, radio/television broadcasting, data transmission, digital broadband multimedia applications to the users in China and in the Asia-Pacific region. Launched in July, 1998, Chinasat-5B would soon come to an end of its in-orbit life.

A Long March-3B carrier rocket carrying the telecommunication satellite "China Sat 2A" lifted off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang city, Southwest China's Sichuan province, May 26, 2012. The satellite, developed by China Academy of Space Technology, will be used to meet the demands for China's radio and TV broadcasting and broadband multimedia transmissions, according to China Satellite Communications Co Ltd. The launch marked the 163rd mission of the Long March carrier rocket series developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

At 18:13 p.m. Beijing Time on November 27, 2012, China’s Long March 3B (LM-3B) launch vehicle successfully sent the ChinaSat 12 telecommunications satellite into the predetermined orbit from Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC). The ChinaSat 12 satellite is an advanced telecommunications satellite based on Spacebus 4000 of Thales Alenia Space France (TASF) with a lift-off mass of 5029kg and a design lifetime over 15 years. The satellite, owned by China Satellite Communications Co. Ltd. (CSCC), has 47 operational transponders and will provide the broadcast & telecommunications services to Asia, Middle East, Africa, Australia and part of Europe.

ChinaSat M was scheduled to be brought into use in the 2nd quarter of 2013. Featuring mobile beams and transponder switching capability, it will provide for commercial broadcasting and communications services with 27 Ku-band transponders to meet the needs of Direct-to-Home, data transmission and digital broadband multimedia services for clients in Asia, Australia including the regions of China Sea and Indian Ocean, etc.

China launched the Chinasat-11 (Zhongxing-11) communication satellite via a Long March 3B/E (Chang Zheng-3B/E) rocket on May 1, 2013. The launch took place at 16:06 UTC from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, in the south west region of China. Zhongxing-11 had a lift-off mass of around 5,000 kg and a design lifetime over 15 years. The satellite is based on the DFH-4 manufactured by the CAST (China Academy of Space Technology) and features multiple high power fixed and mobile beams and transponder switching capability. It will provide services for commercial broadcasting and communications via 45 C-band and Ku-band transponders, aimed at meeting the needs of Direct-to-Home, data transmission, digital broadband multimedia and streaming media for clients in Asia, Africa, Australia – whilst covering large regions of China Sea, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. As was the case with Zhongxing-12 (ChinaSat-12) – launched on November 27, 2012 – part of the satellite’s communications payload was leased to Sri Lanka, co-branded as SupremeSat-II. ChinaSat 11 was scheduled to be brought into use in the 2nd quarter of 2013. The commercial satellite fleet of China Satcom would be expanded to 14 after the delivery of ChinaSat 11.

ChinaSat 9A (SinoSat-4) is based on the DFH-4 satellite platform and will provide direct broadcast services with eighteen 36MHz and four 54MHz BSS Ku band transponders. Together with ChinaSat-9 direct broadcast satellite, ChinaSat-9A is designed to serve the radio and TV transmission, digital film and digital broadband multi-media system as well as information and entertainment broadcasting market.

ChinaSat 15 was to be launched In 2014 and replace ChinaSat 5D. ChinaSat 15 is designed to serve the demands of communication, satellite broadcasting, data transmission, digital broadband multimedia system and media streaming services in Africa, parts of Europe, the Middle East and central Asia.

China on 04 November 2015 put a new communication satellite into orbit from the southwestern Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The "ChinaSat 2C" satellite was launched at 12:25 a.m. and carried by the Long March-3B carrier rocket. It will provide radio, TV transmission and broadband services for the country's radio stations, TV stations, radio transmitting stations and cable networks. The satellite was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and is owned by China Satellite Communications Co., Ltd. The launch is the 216th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

On June 19, 2017, China launched the Zhongxing-9A broadcasting satellite aboard the Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. A malfunction of the third phase of the carrier rocket prevented the satellite from entering its preset orbit. Zhongxing-9A was set to become China's first direct-to-Home (DTH) television satellite providing television services to small dish antennas on the mainland as well as Taiwan. Long March 3B has been launched nearly 40 times with two failures on record.

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Page last modified: 27-06-2017 18:53:03 ZULU