Satellite launched for first Arab country
A Long March 3B carrier rocket blasted off at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan at 12:40 am on Dec 11. It soared for about 26 minutes before placing the Alcomsat 1, Algeria’s first communications satellite, into geostationary transfer orbit, according to a news release from China Great Wall Industry Corp, the project contractor. It became the first “export” of such a spacecraft to an Arab country. President Xi Jinping and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika exchanged congratulatory messages on Dec 11 on the successful mission. Xi said the satellite project is an important manifestation of the China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership. It has become a good example of space cooperation between China and Arab countries and will play a significant role in promoting Algeria’s economic and social development, he said. Xi also said Beijing is willing to work with Algeria to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, deepening the bilateral partnership to benefit the two countries and peoples.