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View Full Version : Aviation Week: Advanced Chinese Space Technology Initiative Off To Disastrous Start



Larry Jacks
2006-Dec-04, 01:40 PM
Full article available here (http://www.aviationnow.com/avnow/news/channel_awst_story.jsp?id=news/aw120406p2.xml):

The catastrophic breakdown of China's new Sinosat 2 direct broadcast satellite is the worst spacecraft failure in the history of the Chinese space program and a major setback to China's development of a new generation of larger, more powerful civilian and military satellites.

The failure of this largest, most complex spacecraft ever developed by the Chinese--launched by China's most powerful rocket--portends a shakeup in the management of Chinese space system testing and quality control.

The spacecraft's solar arrays spanning more than 100 ft. and its large antennas all failed to deploy as Sinosat 2 was maneuvered toward its geosynchronous orbit station west of Sumatra.

Built by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a huge Chinese military and aerospace contractor, Sinosat 2 was to be operated by the Beijing-based Sino Satellite Communications Ltd. (Sinosat).

THE LOSS WILL SET back Chinese plans to deploy a domestically built spacecraft to deliver direct-to-home television services to millions of Chinese from Tibet in the west to the highly populated east coast.

stutefish
2006-Dec-04, 05:33 PM
Ouch. And yet it sounds like the rocket works, and a number of the satellite's subsystems work, including its communication, tracking, diagnostic, and maneuvering subsystems.

Sounds like they just need a shakeup in the "solar array and satellite deployment mechanisms" team.

Doodler
2006-Dec-04, 06:52 PM
A regrettably successful failure... Wonder what caused it? Motor seisure because of the panels' size, or just flat out electrical failure.

Nicolas
2006-Dec-04, 07:26 PM
The catastrophic breakdown of China's new Sinosat 2 direct broadcast satellite is the worst spacecraft failure in the history of the Chinese space program

Didn't once a large launcher explode onto a village nearby the launch site? Or don't they count launchers as spacecraft.

NEOWatcher
2006-Dec-04, 07:51 PM
Or don't they count launchers as spacecraft.
Apparently not... if it doesn't reach space.;)

Larry Jacks
2006-Dec-04, 07:54 PM
Didn't once a large launcher explode onto a village nearby the launch site? Or don't they count launchers as spacecraft.

Yes, they dropped a Long March booster on a nearby village back in the 1990s. That was a launch failure, not a satellite failure. It appears that the launcher worked fine for the Sinosat 2 but the satellite itself had some very serious failures.

yaohua2000
2006-Dec-08, 02:32 PM
Earlier thread:

http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=46607

Argos
2006-Dec-08, 03:51 PM
I take failures of this kind as part of the process. An opportunity to learn. As Doodler puts it, it´s a successful failure, in the positive sense.