AsiaSat 7, a communications satellite destined by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) for Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat), was successfully launched atop an International Launch Services (ILS)-operated Proton rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on November 26th. Following the launch, SS/L announced that the satellite had successfully deployed its solar panels and was performing scheduled post-launch maneuvers that would take it to geostationary orbit.
“We are very pleased to see AsiaSat 7 successfully launched ahead of schedule,” said William Wade, President and Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat, “We have a very successful collaborative relationship with Space Systems/Loral and just announced the contract awards for two more satellites earlier this month.”
AsiaSat 7 will continue performing orbital maneuvers until it reaches the geostationary slot at 105.5 degrees east, previously held by the outdated Asiasat 2. Once it arrives and becomes operational, it will complement services provided by AsiaSat 5, launched in 2009. Over its expected 15-year lifetime, AsiaSat 7 will provide fixed satellite services such as television broadcast and telephone networks, and VSAT networks for broadband media service across the Asia/Pacific region.
AsiaSat is the leading satellite operator in Asia, providing broadcast and telecommunications services to over two-thirds of the world’s population. In the Asia/Pacific region, it provides 500 channels of television and radio to over 620 million homes. It currently operates four satellites in geostationary orbit: AsiaSat 3S at 105.5 east, AsiaSat 4 at 122 east, AsiaSat 5 at 100.5 east, and now AsiaSat 7, destined for 105.5 east.
SS/L, a subsidiary of Loral Space and Communications (LORL), is the world-leading producer of communication satellites. In addition to AsiaSat 5 and 7, it has produced satellites for DirectTV, Eurostar, Intelsat, Sirius/XM, GOES, and other programs.
The video below shows the launch of AsiaSat 7 from Baikonur.