China-Brazil satellite fails to enter orbit (Update)

Dec 09, 2013
Brazilian researchers work inside a reinforced chamber on a CBERS satellite at the INPE headquarters, in Sao Jose dos Campos, some 90 km north of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 3, 2009

A joint Chinese-Brazilian environmental monitoring satellite launched Monday from northern China failed to enter orbit, state media and experts said, in a rare setback for the country's ambitious space programme.

The satellite, meant to be a key tool in Brazil's efforts to control Amazon rainforest deforestation and to monitor its huge agribusiness sector, blasted off from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi province on a Long March 4B rocket at 11:26am (0326 GMT), Xinhua said.

"The rocket malfunctioned during the flight and the satellite failed to enter orbit," the state news agency quoted military sources as saying.

The satellite is known as CBERS-3 (China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite 3), or Ziyuan I-03 in Chinese. Ziyuan is the Chinese word for "resource".

In Brazil, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said in a statement that "there was a failure of the launcher during the flight and consequently the satellite was not positioned in the planned orbit".

"Preliminary evaluations suggest that the CBERS-3 returned to Earth."

The CBERS remote-sensing satellite programme grew out of a bilateral partnership agreement signed in 1988.

The satellite is based on the Chinese Ziyuan 1 design but includes Brazilian-designed mission payload.

Three satellites of the series were launched in 1999, 2003 and 2007 aboard Chinese-made Long March rockets.

CBERS-3 was originally scheduled to be launched in 2009, but the launch date was repeatedly postponed.

A CBERS-4 is scheduled to be launched in 2015.

China launched its first moon rover mission last week, the latest step in an ambitious space programme which is seen as a symbol of its rising global stature.

The rover—known as Yutu, or Jade Rabbit—is due to land on the moon in mid-December.

China sees its space programme as a symbol of its growing international status and technological advancement, as well as of the Communist Party's success in reversing the fortunes of the once impoverished nation.

It aims to establish a permanent space station by 2020 and eventually send a human to the moon.

Explore further: Radar guards against space debris

Related Stories

China moon rover enters lunar orbit

Dec 06, 2013

China's first lunar rover entered the moon's orbit on Friday, state media reported, a key step towards the vessel's planned landing later this month.

China launches Turkish satellite

Dec 18, 2012

China early Wednesday "successfully" launched a Turkish earth observation satellite into orbit aboard a Chinese rocket, according to state media, hailed in Turkey as a "historic moment".

Recommended for you

Radar guards against space debris

41 minutes ago

Space debris poses a growing threat to satellites and other spacecraft, which could be damaged in the event of a collision. A new German space surveillance system, schedu- led to go into operation in 2018, will help to prevent ...

Why we need to keep adding leap seconds

2 hours ago

Today at precisely 10am Australian Eastern Standard time, something chronologically peculiar will take place: there'll be an extra second between 09:59:59 and 10:00:00.

Helping Europe prepare for asteroid risk

3 hours ago

Each year, astronomers worldwide discover over 1000 new asteroids or other space rocks that could strike our planet. And if one is spotted heading towards Earth, experts working in ESA and national emergency ...

Image: Increasingly active Comet 67P

3 hours ago

On 13 August 2015, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko will reach its closest point to the Sun along its 6.5-year long orbit. It will be around 185 million km from the Sun at 'perihelion', between the orbits ...

Image: Modeling Gaia's avionics on the ground

3 hours ago

A full-size working model of Gaia's internal systems arrived in Germany this week. The Avionics Model is mounted in a circular set-up representing the systems on the actual satellite, now orbiting the Sun–Earth ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.