ICHANG – China has launched its first high-throughput communications satellite, Shijian-13, from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Wednesday, reported Xinhua news.

The satellite will not only enable passengers of high-speed trains to watch high-definition videos uninterruptedly but also provide help people at the scene of natural disasters report emergencies.

The satellite, with a transfer capacity of 20 Gbps and a has orbital life of 15 years, was launched on a Long March-3B carrier rocket.

The satellite, which has a higher message capacity than the combined capacity of all of China’s previous communications satellites, is capable of providing better Internet access on planes and high-speed trains, as well as in less-developed regions.

While in orbit, the satellite will undergo tests on its broadband multimedia satellite communications system and the high speed laser communication technology between the ground and the satellite.

“The launch is a milestone for China’s communications satellite technology,” said Tian Yulong, chief engineer of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.

Shijian-13 is the first Chinese satellite to be powered by electricity, and reportedly has the potential to improve efficiency by as much as 10 times compared to those using chemicals as fuel.

It is also the first time a laser communications system has been installed on a Chinese high orbit satellite with a long lifespan.

The satellite and the rocket were designed by academies affiliated with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology respectively.