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China launches ‘ APStar 6E ’ for telecommunication services

Country invests in low cost satellites bulit with the DFH-3E chassis

Long March 2C Y61 Launches from Xichang

China successfully launched the Asia Pacific APStar 6E satellite at 02:10 on January 13, 2023 Beijing Time ( 18:10 UTC on 12 ), using the Long March rocket 2C number Y61 ( CZ-2C ), which Launches from the LC-3 platform of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The satellite will provide broadband and high-speed communication services to Southeast Asia, filling a gap in the broadband communication market in the region, with twenty-five punctual bundles of Ku band and three bundles of gateway. The total communication capacity is over 30 Gbps. The satellite has a mass of 4,300 kg including the propulsion stage ( 2,090 kg of the satellite and the propulsion module with 2,210 kg ). The set was placed in an initial orbit of 200 km x 500 km with an inclination of 28.5 °.

APSTAR-6E in Assembly building

APStar 6E was built on a 1.3 ton class , CAST DFH-3E platform ( light to medium for satellite standards of its type ), it has two large panels spans 18.10 meters to power its transponders and the electric motor; has a useful life of 15 years. The DFH-3E serves to meet the demands of low-cost geostationary communication satellites in developing countries. The orbital stage YZ-1S (Yuanzheng) will insert in the GTO transfer ( a process that can take 10 and a half hours ) and from there the satellite will take ten months to reach the geostationary position in 134 ° east using it's electric motor.

Long Solar Panels of DHF-3E

While competing firms like Astranis and Saturn are building small stationary satellites weighing a few hundred pounds, the DFH-3E is the closest size to a regular satellite, but with electric propulsion and a lower payload. According to official Chinese sources, the DFH-3E can reach a launch mass of 3,200kg, which is 60% the size of a standard GEO satellite; however, the 1,300 kg Apstar-6E satellite is suitable for the capacity of the CZ-2C in geostationary transfer. The total cost of satellite and launch is around US $ 137.59 million, with delivery scheduled for August 31, 2023. The satellite has Ku band HTS capability, which should allow you to increase the capacity of the newly launched Apstar-6D, which also uses Ku band HTS.