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Mission type Communication
Operator APT Satellite Holdings
COSPAR ID 2012-013A
SATCAT № 38107
Website www.apstar.com/apt_apstar/APSTAR%20VII.asp
Mission duration 15 years[1]
Spacecraft properties
Bus Spacebus-4000C2
Manufacturer Thales Alenia Space
Launch mass 5,054 kilograms (11,142 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date 31 March 2012, 10:27 (2012-03-31UTC10:27Z) UTC
Rocket Chang Zheng 3B/E
Launch site Xichang LC-2
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude 76.5° East[1]
Perigee 35,784 kilometres (22,235 mi)
Apogee 35,802 kilometres (22,246 mi)
Inclination 0.04 degrees
Period 23.93 hours
Epoch 19 December 2013, 16:37:15 UTC[2]

Apstar-7 is a Chinese communications satellite which is operated by APT Satellite Holdings as part of the Apstar system. It was launched in 2012 as a replacement for the Apstar-IIR satellite launched in 1997.[3]

Apstar-7 was constructed by Thales Alenia Space, and is based on the Spacebus-4000C2 satellite bus. The satellite had a mass at launch of 5,054 kilograms (11,142 lb), and is expected to operate for at least 15 years.[1] It is positioned in geostationary orbit at a longitude of 76.5 degrees East, and carries 56 transponders with an operating power of 8.4 kilowatts;[1] 28 operating in the c band and providing services to Asia, Africa, eastern and central Europe and Australia and the other 28 operating in the ku band, covering Africa, the Middle East, the People's Republic of China, and Taiwan.[4] The satellite's solar arrays generate 11.4 kilowatts of power.

Apstar-7 was launched by a Long March 3B/E carrier rocket, flying from Launch Complex 2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. Liftoff took place at 10:27 UTC on 31 March 2012, with the rocket placing the satellite into a supersynchronous transfer orbit.[5]

Operational history

Because the United States prohibits the export of satellite components when a Chinese launcher is used, Apstar-7 was built as an ITAR-free satellite, containing no American components.[6] Ironically, in May 2012, the US Department of Defense leased bandwidth on Apstar-7 in order to improve communications with the U.S. Africa Command.[7]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Krebs, Gunter. "APStar 7, 7B". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 4 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "APSTAR 7 Satellite details 2012-013A NORAD 38107". N2YO. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Barbosa, Rui C. (31 March 2012). "Chinese Long March 3B/E launches Apstar-7". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 4 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "APSTAR-7 system characteristics". APT Satellite Holdings. Retrieved 4 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. McDowell, Jonathan (12 April 2012). "Issue 656". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 4 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Clark, Stephen (31 March 2012). "Chinese rocket lifts off with communications satellite". Spaceflight Now.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Capaccio, Tony (29 April 2013). "Pentagon Using China Satellite for U.S.-Africa Command". Bloomberg. Retrieved 29 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External Links