Long March 3B puts Chinasat 9A into wrong orbit resulting in likely US$129 million insurance loss (Updated)

by | Jun 20, 2017 | China, Launches, Satellites, Seradata News

An under-performing third-stage of a Long March 3B-G2 rocket has left the Chinasat 9A Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcast satellite in an incorrect orbit, following its launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, at 1610 GMT on 18 June. The target orbit was an elliptical Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), with an apogee of circa 35,800 km. However, the spacecraft has found itself much lower than that with an apogee of around 16,357 km and a perigee of 193 km. Another complicating factor is the satellite’s 25.7 degree inclination from the equator, which will need cancelling if it is to reach the Geostationary Orbit (GEO) belt.

CASC (China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation) released a statement confirming the mis-injection, but stating that the satellite was healthy and its solar arrays and antennas had successfully deployed. It is not yet known if the controllers have figured out a way to return the satellite to a usable orbit.  If they do not, the spacecraft will be declared a total loss.  It was insured for a value of US$210 million, of which about US$100 was on the Chinese insurance market.  However, the international market’s exposure will be close to the full amount as Chinese insurers usually reinsure a major part of their risk.

The spacecraft utilises the CFH-4 platform built by CAST (China Academy of Space Technology), carries 24 Ku-band transponders and is estimated to weigh over 5 tons. Before this launch, the Long March 3 series – consisting of the 3A/3B/3B-G2/3C minor variants – had successfully completed 49 consecutive missions since its last failure in August 2009.

Update on 6 July 2017: Chinese authorities noted that the spacecraft had reached its operational position – albeit with a loss of some of the spacecraft’s life as it had to use its own fuel to recover itself.  Insurers are expecting a claim for 60% loss of life equating to a US$129 million.

Flag of the People’s Republic of China

 

About Seradata

Seradata produces the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to https://www.seradata.com/product/

Related Articles

Categories

Archives

Tags

nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochinaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 525virgin galacticULAfalcon 9RoscosmosevaspacewalkDGAaviation weekInternational Space StationaressoyuzIGTRocket LabBlue OriginBeidouawardsStarlinkspaceSatellite broadcastingAirbus DSrussiaboeingmoonOneWebCargo Return VehicleISROmarsblogresearchspaceshiptwojaxaorionmarsimpactdelayhyperbolaEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegaSESthales alenia spacetourismbarack obamaconstellationfiguresnorthspaceflightIntelsatnode 2fundedRaymond Lygo2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiosuborbitaltestmissiledocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbitinternetLong March 2D/2sts-122ElectronSLSChina Manned Space EngineeringAriane 5Northrop Grummanmissile defensenewspapercotsgalileospace tourismflight2010Long March 4CspaceportExpress AMU 1buildspace stationaltairsoyuz 2-1aProton Minternational astronautical congressshuttlespace shuttlescaled compositesIntelsat 23European Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosnew yorkrulesAriane 6hanleybudgetatvVietnamshenzhoucongressMojaveboldennew shepardLong March 2CInmarsatOrbital ATKcnesiaclunar landerGuiana Space CenterkscApollolawsUS Air ForceSpace Systems/LoralUK Space AgencyLong March 4BKuaizhou 1AILSdarpaprotonTalulah RileyElectron KSFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Vega CNorth KoreaeuAstriumSkylonpicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatSSLAprilSNC50thinterviewLong MarchSea LaunchfalconWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor

Stay Informed with Seradata

Stay informed on the latest news, insights, and more from Seradata by signing up for our newsletter.