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China: Around The Nation

Space debris in northern China confirmed as from recently launched satellites

Last week’s launch hailed as a success but centre confirms space waste comes from the payload

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 January, 2017, 9:38pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 January, 2017, 9:38pm

Debris that has rained down on a city in the central China province of Henan is believed to be from two recently launched satellites.

The debris found in Lingbao, some of which bears the wording “China Aerospace”, was confirmed by the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre to be pieces of two high-resolution Earth-imaging satellites, The Beijing News reported.

The satellites were the payload aboard a Long March 2D rocket that lifted off from the centre on Wednesday last week.

Chinese rocket launch reported to have failed, destroying cutting-edge earth observation satellite

Although official reports hailed the launch as a success, orbital data showed that the satellites did not reach their intended orbit and that the flight sequence deviated from pre-launch predictions, according to reports on ww.spaceflight101.com, a space news website based in Germany.

A domestic aerospace expert quoted in the report said the type of debris found was consistent with those satellites.

The satellites were to be part of a new multi-sensor, commercial Earth Observation Constellation to be operated by Beijing Space View Technology.