Two new communication satellites in orbit
6 August 2010
The Ariane-5 ECA rocket has just launched two telecommunication satellites destined for Africa.
Rascom-QAF1R will replace Rascom-QAF1 and it will facilitate access to the telephone and Internet in rural areas. Barring any technical problems, the satellite will remain in orbit for 15 years and 28 countries could benefit from the technology.
The company Rascomstar-QAF is supplying communications infrastructures to the whole continent of Africa.
Nilesat-201, an Egyptian satellite, once launched, will provide fast television services and digital telecommunications and radio to North Africa, the near East and Gulf states.
The two satellites, constructed by Thales Alenia Space, had launch weights of over three tonnes. They are currently in geostationary transfer orbit. They will shortly take up their position in geostationary orbit, i.e. orbiting at the same speed as the Earth.
This was the third launch of Ariane-5 in 2010. Last June, the rocket launched Arabsat 5A, which supplies television channels in North Africa.