On April 9th, a Long March-3B/G2 (Chang Zheng-3B/G2) rocket failed as it was attempting to launch a new Indonesian communications satellite into orbit.
The launch took place at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, but reportedly failed during third stage flight.
The satellite, based on the Chinese DFH-4 platform, was to be used by PT Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN) in cooperation with telecommunication service provider PT Indosat Ooredoo and PT Pintar Nusantara Sejahtera (PNS), to provide broadband internet access and high-quality broadcasting services.
The satellite, Palapa-N1 was to replace the current Palapa-D.
PSN, Indosat Ooredoo and PNS established a joint venture and contracted China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation to build the satellite.
Weighing 5,550 kilograms, Palapa-N1 had a capacity of 20×36 MHz C-band FSS transponders and 9.5 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) HTS. The satellite could have covered regions throughout the Asia Pacific and to Australia for C-band transponders and throughout Indonesia for HTS.
The satellite could have also been used for VSAT, broadcast, broadband, backbone, and backhaul services.
— LaunchStuff (@LaunchStuff) April 9, 2020
To meet the demand of the international satellite launch market, especially for high power and heavy communications satellites, the development of Long March-3B (Chang Zheng-3B) launch vehicle was started in 1986 based on the fight proven technology of Long March launch vehicles.
Developed from the Chang Zheng-3A, the Chang Zheng-3B is at the moment the most powerful launch vehicle on the Chinese space launch fleet.
The rocket is capable of launching a 11,200 kg satellite to a low Earth orbit or a 5,100 kg cargo to a geosynchronous transfer orbit.
The CZ-3B/G2 (Enhanced Version) launch vehicle was developed from the CZ-3B with a lengthened first core stage and strap-on boosters, increasing the GTO capacity up to 5,500kg.
The first and second stages of the three-stage Long March 3B rocket appeared to perform well during the outset of the launch. But something went wrong with the third stage, raining debris back to Earth and destroying the Palapa-N1 satellite, Xinhua reported.
— Nick Delgado (@Mr_NixNetwork) April 9, 2020
The failed Long March 3B launch marks China’s second launch failure in less than a month. On March 16, a Long March 7A rocket failed to launch a classified satellite into orbit during a debut test flight from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on China’s southern Hainan Island.
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