Asia's latest communications satellite AsiaSat 8 has been successfully launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Hong Kong-based satellite operator AsiaSat acquired the first signals from the satellite 54 minutes after launch at 4am local time (EDT) on 5 August.
Over the next few days, AsiaSat 8 will move into the geostationary orbit, some 36,000 km above the Equator. It will be co-located with AsiaSat 7 at the orbital location of 105.5° East.
"We are excited that the AsiaSat 8 launch has achieved this significant milestone. This is our first launch with SpaceX, we would like to thank them for their excellent work and effort in making today's launch a success," said William Wade, president and chief executive officer, AsiaSat.
"In the coming weeks, we will work closely with Space Systems/Loral, our long-term partner, on the post-launch manoeuvres and in-orbit testing of AsiaSat 8.
"The addition of AsiaSat 8 to our existing fleet of four in-orbit satellites will expand our fleet capacity and enable us to serve a wider range of customers for advanced satellite services, from DTH, data broadcasting to broadband services," added Wade.
AsiaSat 8 is a Space Systems/Loral 1300 series satellite, and has a design life of 15 years. The satellite's Ku-band beams cover China, India, the Middle East and South East Asia, with inter-beam switching capability to provide flexibility to address market requirements.