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Chinese communications satellite Zhongxing-9A enters orbit

According to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the Long March-3B rocket encountered a problem in its third phase after it was launched on June 19, failing to place the satellite in orbit on time.

Chinese communications satellite Zhongxing-9A enters orbit
Image credit: Qin Haishi / Xinhua

New Delhi: Two weeks after its launch, Chinese communications satellite Zhongxing-9A entered its preset orbit authorities said on Thursday.

According to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the Long March-3B rocket encountered a problem in its third phase after it was launched on June 19, failing to place the satellite in orbit on time.

The satellite had to carry out at least 10 adjustments with its onboard thrusters before it could be placed in its correct orbit at 101.4 degrees east longitude over the equator, the CASC said.

The satellite systems are now functioning normally and the transponders have begun to work, it added.

Zhongzing-9A is China's first homegrown satellite, capable of live broadcasting for radio and television.

Meanwhile, the Chinese space programme suffered another setback on Sunday when the country's most powerful rocket, the Long March-5 Y2, carrying a communications satellite failed an hour into take-off due to an unspecified problem.

Experts say these setbacks could delay key upcoming Chinese space missions, including the lunar and Mars probes, as well as an indigenous space station.

(With IANS inputs)