Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
The status of a Chinese launch attempt of a communications satellite today remains unknown, hours after launch.
China launched its seventh mission of 2017 on Sunday, lofting the Zhongxing-9A (ChinaSat-9A) communications satellite, but -unusually – there has been no official status update in over three hours since liftoff. The Long March 3B/G2 lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the hills of Sichuan Province at 00:12 local time on monday (16:12 UTC, 12:12 EDT on Sunday), following on from Thursday’s launch of the country’s first space observatory.
Apparent video footage and locals on social media surprised by the rumbling of the launch vehicle confirmed liftoff. However, official confirmation of launch success, often within an hour, has not followed, bringing speculation of some degree of failure.
Nothing has as yet been confirmed, so this launch might not be a failure.