Chinese netizens expressed their understanding after a Chinese communications satellite failed to enter its preset orbit on Monday.
Zhongxing-9A, which was launched by the Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan Province at 12:11 am on Monday, failed to enter its preset orbit, according to a statement posted on the website by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) on Monday.
Abnormal performance was detected during the firing of the third phase of the rocket, according to the CASC statement. The exact reason for the failure is under investigation and relevant parties are taking measures to address the problem, the statement added.
The solar panels and communication antennae, however, have been deployed and the satellite system is now operating in a normal way, CASC said.
Zhongxing-9A is the first China-made satellite for live radio and television broadcasts and the Long March-3B has been one of the main carrier rockets for China's high-orbit launch missions, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
"Faults and malfunction in the dynamical system, rocket body structure, launch control system and the flight control system were the main causes for the satellite and rocket launch malfunction," Hu Haifeng, a designer at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, told the Global Times.
"China can make improvements in future in terms of raising rocket payload capability, lowering launching costs and minimizing launch failure rate in the future," said Hu.
The news has sparked wide discussion on Chinese social media as such failure was quite rare in the past and most netizens have shown their understanding.
A Sino Weibo user commented that the failure is acceptable as there are always high risks in satellite launches and numerous failed cases can be found in other countries.
Another Weibo user praised authorities' honest and candid attitude toward the failure, saying the statement shows the real confidence of the nation in the domestic aerospace development.