The brand ChinaSat was previously operated by China Telecommunications Broadcast Satellite Corporation, which was owned by China's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. China Telecommunications Broadcast Satellite Corporation was merged with other state-owned companies to form China Satellite Communications Corporation circa 2000.
Satellites formerly operated by Sino Satellite Communications and China Orient Telecommunications Satellite were renamed with ChinaSat designations following the acquisition of China Satellite Communications by CASC. ChinaStar 1 became ChinaSat 5A, SinoSat 1 became ChinaSat 5B, and SinoSat 3 became ChinaSat 5C.
ChinaSat 6 were two satellites launched in 1994 and 1997. The first satellite was lost and the second suffered from reduced life.
ChinaSat 6A was launched in 2010. Formerly known as SinoSat 6.
The ChinaSat 6B satellite was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space, based on the Spacebus 4000C2 platform. It has 38 transponders, and is being used for TV transmissions and shortwave jamming across China, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Oceania. It has a planned useful life of 15 years. The launch, on a Long March 3B rocket, was successfully conducted on 5 July 2007. The broadcast used for some shortwave radio jamming purposes in China is carried on one of the Chinasat 6B transponders.
United States ITAR restrictions prohibited the export of satellite components for satellites launched on Chinese rockets. In response, Thales Alenia built ChinaSat 6B as an ITAR-free satellite, containing no restricted U.S. satellite components. However, the US Department of State did not accept the ITAR-free status of these satellites and fined the US company Aeroflex $8 million for exporting satellite components. In 2013, Thales Alenia discontinued its ITAR-free satellite line.
ChinaSat 8 was built by Space Systems/Loral and scheduled for launch in April 1999 on a Long March 3B rocket. However, the U.S Department of State blocked its export to China under ITAR regulations. The satellite was sold to ProtoStar in 2006.
Chinasat 18 was launched at 12:03 UTC on August 19, 2019 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center using a Long March-3B/E from the LC2 Launch Complex. Although the launch was successful, the satellite malfunctioned once released into space. The satellite was declared a total loss.
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