An upper stage malfunction has left a Chinese satellite in a lower-than-planned orbit after a launch Sunday.
The Long March 3B lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 12:12 p.m. Eastern carrying the Chinasat-9A satellite.
It was not until early Monday, though, that Chinese officials announced that the third stage of the rocket malfunctioned, leaving the satellite in a lower orbit than planned.
Officials did not provide additional details about the satellite’s orbit, but did state that the satellite had deployed its solar panels and was functioning normally.
The satellite carries a Ku-band payload and was planned to operate from 92 degrees east in GEO. [gbtimes]
SpaceX has postponed the launch of a Bulgarian communications satellite until Friday, setting up a “doubleheader” with a West Coast launch. SpaceX said Sunday it was delaying the Falcon 9 launch of BulgariaSat-1, previously scheduled for Monday, until at least Friday to replace a valve in the rocket’s payload fairing. SpaceX said that, despite the delay in this launch from Florida, it was still targeting a Sunday launch of 10 Iridium Next satellites on a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. [Florida Today]
The Secretary of the ...