I’m preparing the promised article about the Chinese space station, however I want to post this news about an Chinese launch to space with a Western satellite. On October the 7th the satellite Eutelsat W3C was launched by a Chinese Long March 3BE carrier rocket to a geostationary orbit. Eutelsat is a French company and one of the top 3 (by revenue) providers of satellite communications worldwide. The launched satellite Eutelsat W3C is the first launch of a Western satellite on a Chinese carrier rocket since 12 years. It will replace EUROBIRD 16, Eutelsat W2M and SESAT 1.
Kind of surprising. The European Space Agency can’t be happy at all, that Eutelsat favors Chinese vehicles instead of the European government supported Ariane rockets. Cheap production has been moved to China decades ago. Now high tech is also moving east. Tough times ahead for the European space business. What does this mean for European rocket scientists? Here is a picture of the launch from Xichang satellite launch center in southern Sichuan province: