Space Commerce

Chinese Rocket Malfunction Dooms Brazilian Satellite

By Keith Cowing
December 10, 2013
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Chinese Rocket Malfunction Dooms Brazilian Satellite
Long March 4B

A satellite jointly developed by Brazil and China has failed to enter orbit because the rocket carrying it malfunctioned after launch from China’s northern Shanxi province.
The environmental monitoring satellite was launched aboard a Chinese Long March 4B rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported the rocket malfunctioned during the flight and the satellite failed to enter orbit.

The state news agency said Chinese and Brazilian experts are analyzing the cause of the malfunction.

A satellite venture was set up between Brazil and China in 1996 to help Brazil monitor its forests, oceans and agricultural production, as well as for commercial sale. Two satellites of the series were launched in 1999 and 2003 aboard Chinese-made Long March rockets.

Earlier this year, a Chinese space program official said the country wants to increase its share of the global commercial satellite launching business from three percent to 15 percent by 2020.

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