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Algeria Unveils Its National Space Programme to 2040

A Long March 3B space launch vehicle launches Algeria’s AlComSat-1 communications satellite. Photograph courtesy of China Great Wall Industry Corporation.

Algeria plans to send several state-of-the-art satellites as part of its space programme 2020-2040, which is “under study now,” the director general of the Algerian Space Agency, Azzedine Oussedik, said on December 18, 2017, in Algiers.

A national space programme, which includes plans for the launch of many cutting-edge satellites, is under consideration at the Algerian Space Agency, Oussedik told a news conference about the successful launch, on December 11, 2017, of the Algerian space communication satellite Alcomsat-1 from the Chinese launch site at Xichang.

He added that the new programme will be put into operation after the completion of the current national space programme 2006-2020, under which five satellites have been successfully launched, the latest of which is Alcomsat-1.

The launch of the Alcomsat-1 satellite is meant to “boost national sovereignty in telecommunications, through the set-up of an appropriate, efficient and secure transmission system,” according to Oussedik.

The satellite will make it possible for the telecommunication services to continue working in case of major natural disasters, as it will allow an increase in the capacity of national telecommunication systems, the relocation of activities and services which are mostly based in the country’s north through an optimized telecommunication network, the reduction of the costs resulting from the use of international telecommunication systems, in addition to the transfer of technology, he explained.

Alsatcom-1, the outcome of a partnership with China, has 33 transponders, nine of which are meant for digital radio and TV broadcast, as well as distance learning, telemedicine, and videoconference services.

The new satellite will also provide high-speed internet (20 Mb/s) on Ka-band, which covers the whole Algerian territory.

It will also help in providing mid-speed internet (2 Mb/s) to users in North Africa via Ku-band, which, in addition to Algeria, includes Morocco, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Libya, Tunisia, North of Chad, and north of Sudan.

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