The Greek and Cypriot Hellas Satellite 3 was successfully launched on Thursday to replace the Hellas Sat 2, which was sent into orbit on May 13, 2003 and requires replacing soon as it has a lifespan of 15 years.
Marios Demetriades, Transport Minister who was present at the launch in French Guiana said the Hellas Sat 3 satellite is promoting Cyprus in the field of space technology and that Cyprus will benefit from the revenue derived from the satellite.
The nearly 55-metre tall rocket carrying the satellite blasted off from French Guiana shortly after midnight following a 16-minute delay to allow the launch team time to finalise countdown preparations.
The new satellite will broadcast television across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, linking European air travellers to Wi-Fi, and relaying video and data signals across India.
Officials at Thales Alenia Space, the manufacturer of the satellite, and the Indian space agency confirmed ground controllers established contact with the spacecraft soon after they arrived in space.
The Hellas satellite is one of the largest European satellites ever built, weighing 5.78 kg and is expected to reach its position in the coming days orbiting nearly 35,800 kilometres over the equator.
The Greek and Cypriot company Hellas has its headquarters in Nicosia.