Facility to begin commercial services
FROM the Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited came cheering news that the recently launched NigComSat 1-R has passed all the in-orbit tests and is now set to immediately commence commercial activities.
But for this to take off, China Great Wall Industry (CGWIC), the firm that built and launched the satellite, will today hand over the satellite to President Goodluck Jonathan.
At a ceremony to be attended by top government officials, governors and the science community, the Vice President of the CGWIC will hand the satellite to Nigeria, signifying that the space craft had passed all the post-launch tests and is now certified as ready for commercial services.
Already, the airport road, Abuja headquarters of the Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited head office, is wearing a colorful look in anticipation of the event.
Spokesman of NigComSat Ltd, Mr. Sonny Akpore, in a chat with The Guardian, confirmed that the satellite had undergone all the necessary tests and was ready for post launch services.
He said: “Indeed, I can confirm to you that the satellite has passed every technical test as required in ventures of this nature. It has undergone eclipse of the sun and the moon and has survived both. We are very happy that the CGWIC will be here with us on Monday (today) to formally hand the satellite to President Jonathan.
“As you may be aware, the in-orbit delivery of an important satellite like this is even more significant than the launch itself. This is because anything can happen after launch. We are happy that nothing happened and the satellite will now commence commercial activities. Once that is done, we will begin to deliver to Nigeria all the promises we made about the satellite.”
Noting that Nigerian engineers conducted the testing of the satellite from NigComSat Ltd’s base in Abuja, he stressed that there had been great enthusiasm from customers, even from unexpected quarters on the bandwidths and other services of the satellite.
NigComSat-1R, covering Central, Western and Southern Africa, Central and Eastern part of Europe, and some areas of Mid-Asia, will be mainly used for communications, broadcasting, tele-education, broad-band multimedia service, navigation service, etc.
“NigComSat-1R is expected to improve the relevant national infrastructure of Nigeria and benefit people within its coverage. NigComSat-1R will promote the economic and technological development and social progress in neighbouring countries, especially the sub-Sahara African countries, and shall contribute substantially to the improvement of livelihood in the region,” Akpore said.
The facility is built on Dong Fang Hong 4 (DFH-4) satellite bus developed by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and launched by LM-3B launch vehicle, developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle (CALT). China Satellite Launch Tracking and Control General (CLTC) is providing tracking, control and ground segment support for the program. The NigComSat-1R is the 8th satellite built on the DFH-4 bus for in-orbit delivery and the NigComSat-1R launch is the 18th flight of LM-3B launch vehicle and the 154th flight in the series of the Long March launchers.