Beijing: China successfully sent a Bolivian communications satellite into orbit with its Long March-3B carrier rocket from southwest Xichang Satellite Launch Centre early Saturday, Xinhua reported.
The satellite, produced by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) with a designed longevity of 15 years, is Bolivia`s first communications satellite. It will be used in areas including broadcasting, education and medical services.
Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma was present on this occasion, the first time a foreign head of state has witnessed a satellite launch in China.
The satellite is named Tupac Katari in homage to an 18th century indigenous hero who fought Bolivia`s Spanish colonizers.
The satellite agreement was signed between the Bolivian Space Agency (ABE) and the Great Wall Industry Corporation of China, a subsidiary of CASC, in December 2010.
It is the fifth Chinese communications satellite for international users and the second in-orbit delivery for a Latin American customer. China launched a telecom satellite for Venezuela in 2008.