(Yicai Global) June 20 -- A communications satellite launched by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., state-run contractor for China's space program, has failed to enter the planned orbit due to a malfunctioning during the launch process, said the company. It is working to adjust the satellite's position.
With low costs and reliable technologies, China has become a key player in commercial satellite launch services. The Zhongxing-9A communications and broadcasting satellite, launched aboard the Long March-3B carrier rocket, failed to enter the planned orbit as the rocket malfunctioned during the third phase of the launch, China Aerospace Science and Technology said on its official website yesterday. China Aerospace is examining the reasons for the failure.
The Long March-3B carrier rocket is mainly used to help launch satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbits. With four boosters, it can send objects weighing less than 5.5 tons into such orbits. The rocket has been a key launcher of China's satellites as well as international commercial one since its maiden flight in 1996.
Though the Zhongxing-9A satellite failed to enter the planned orbit due to a rocket malfunctioning, technically, it doesn't mean the satellite has become useless. Technicians can still use its engine to put the satellite into the intended orbit. The satellite's solar panels and antennae have expanded and its system is functioning normally, China Aerospace Science and Technology said, adding that efforts are continuing to put the satellite into orbit.