Monday February 4, 2013
All systems go for Measat satellite launch on Thursday
PETALING JAYA: Measat Satellite Systems Sdn Bhd’s AZERSPACE-1/AFRICASAT-1a satellite has entered final preparations for its launch scheduled for this Thursday.
The satellite was built by Orbital Sciences Corp of Dulles, in the United States, based on Orbital’s flight-proven Star-2 satellite design. The satellite is scheduled for launch onboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 6:30pm local time (5:30 am Friday, Malaysian time).
In a statement, Measat Satellite Systems said the AZERSPACE-1/AFRICASAT-1a satellite was the result of a three-year cooperation with Azercosmos Open Joint Stock Co, a company it had set up with the Communications and Information Technologies Ministry of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
“The cooperation brought together the resources of Azerbaijan, the technical expertise of Measat, and the Malaysian 46ºE orbital slot,” it added.
The jointly-developed satellite had been designed with two separate payloads – the AZERSPACE-1 covering Europe and Central Asia to be marketed by Azercosmos and the AFRICASAT-1a covering Africa and the Middle East to be marketed by Measat.
The satellite will undergo a one-month in-orbit testing prior to entering commercial service. Post-testing, the AFRICASAT-1a payload will be added to the Measat satellite fleet to expand its reach across Africa and the Middle East where it will be available to support Malaysian Government and business communication requirements.
Measat supplies satellite communication services to leading international broadcasters, direct-to-home platforms and telecom operators. With capacity across six satellites, the company provides satellite services to over 150 countries across the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Australia.
Leveraging facilities at the Measat Teleport and Broadcast Centre, and working with world-class partners, the firm also provides a complete range of broadcast and telecommunications solutions.