China performed its 33rd launch of 2021 early Thursday, effectively sending the ChinaSat-9B communications satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.
A Long March 3B took off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, southwest China, at 7:50 a.m. Eastern on 9th September.
The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) announces that ChinaSat-9B, also known as Zhongxing-9B, has come into its planned orbit within an hour of launch.
According to CASC –
- ChinaSat-9B will offer live broadcast services
- Support 4K and 8K high-definition video program transmission using a specially designed 54MHz bandwidth transponder
- provide high-quality live broadcast transmission services for large-scale events
The satellite will be run by CASC subsidiary China Satcom and deliver communication services for –
- Emergency rescue
- Disaster relief
The satellite is built on the DFH-4E, an improved version of the well-known DFH-4 platform developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). Which is a key satellite production arm of CASC. The DFH-4E has a mass of about 5,500 kilograms and includes hybrid electric- and chemical propulsion.
CASC states that China Satcom manages and operates 15 satellites in orbit, as well as ChinaSat and Apstar series satellites. Zhongxing-9B will substitute Zhongxing-9A.
The latter began in June 2017, however, a third stage variance left the satellite in a lower orbit than schedule. This necessitates Zhongxing-9A to use its own propellant for 10 orbital modifications. This is in order to raise itself into geostationary orbit at 101.4 degrees East and in preparing so greatly cut its scheduled 15-year lifetime.
The Indonesian Nusantara-2 DFH-4E-built satellite was lost after a Long March 3B third stage problem in April 2020.
China makes an attempt on 33 launches so far in 2021. CASC has been effective with all 31 of its launches, with more than 40 scheduled in total this year by the state-owned giant.
CASC is planning to send the Tianzhou-3 cargo spacecraft to the Tianhe space station module in the next two weeks. The crewed Shenzhou-13 mission is intentional to follow in October.
The other two Chinese launches came from the private firm iSpace, which has undergone two failures of its Hyperbola-1 light-lift solid rocket. Fellow private launch firm Galactic Energy is temporarily planning to launch its second Ceres-1 solid rocket in October.