Telesat launches Nimiq 5 satellite

Telesat Canada Thursday night launched the Nimiq 5 television satellite from Kazakhstan.

The4745-kg satellite, which has a solar array span of 26 metres, willtransmit direct to home television signals in Canada and the U.S. using32 Ku-band transponders.

Telesat, aformer Bell Canada Enterprises subsidiary, is now privately held, withmost shares owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and LoralSpace and Communications Inc., which manufactured the Nimiq 5.

Withthe Nimiq 5, Telesat now operates 12 satellites. Last February Telesatlaunched the T11, which provides broadband service to corporate andgovernment customers in southern and western Africa, and also coversmost of the Atlantic Ocean. Services in Africa are provided by Nairobi,Kenya-based Intersat Africa Inc.

International Launch Servicesused its Proton Breeze M to launch the Nimiq 5 from the BaikonurCosmodrome at 1:19 am local time. It has separated from the upper stageof the rocket and its signal was acquired by a tracking station inPerth, Australia.

Telesat plans to operate Nimiq 5 in an orbit at 72.7 degrees West.

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