Malaysia launches third satellite

Government hails effort to extend the country's communications reach.

    Spectators in Kuala Lumpur watched a live
    broadcast of the launch in Kazakhstan

    Russian company Khrunichev 
    built the booster rocket

    Russian company Khrunichev, which built the booster rocket, said the satellite reached orbit at 08:40 GMT on Tuesday.
     
    The satellite, operated by Measat Satellite Systems, is expected to triple Malaysia's satellite communications capacity in a project costing 1bn Malaysian ringgit ($290m).
     
    It is set to be operational in February, extending Measat's network reach to more than 100 countries, according to analysts.
     
    Malaysian pay-TV operator Astro says it expects to expand its customer base and offer extended services when Measat-3 is fully operational.
     
    Measat launched its first satellite in 1996 and provides video distribution services across Asia and Australia.
     
    Pursuits in space have increasingly captured the Malaysian public's attention, with the country’s first astronaut expected to join a Russian space expedition in September.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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