APSTAR-7 at 76.5° East
|Thales Alenia Space
|APT Satellite Co.
|Long March 3B
The APSTAR-7 satellite is located at 76,5° East Geostationary orbit covering Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa in C-band and China. Middle-East and Africa in steerable Ku-band.
The spacecraft was constructed by Thales Alenia Space as an ITAR-free satellite, containing no restricted American components. The USA prohibits the export of satellite components when a Chinese launcher will be used. Ironically, the US Department of Defense leased bandwidth on APSTAR-7 in May 2012 to improve communications with the U.S. Africa Command. In 2013, Thales Alenia Space was forced to discontinue its ITAR-free satellite line after US supplier Aeroflex admitted that it had sold them ITAR-controlled components.
The 5,054kgs heavy APSTAR-7 satellite was launched on March 31st, 2012 by launch operator CGWIC from China on a Long March CZ/3B rocket. The satellite has a planned operational lifespan of over 15 years.