Launch failure: Zi Yuan 1-3/CBERS 3 imaging satellite is launched by Long March 4B but it did not enter stable orbit9 Dec 2013, 11:13 UTC
The Zi Yuan 1-3 Earth imaging satellite, a satellite in the Sino-Brazilian CBERS (China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite) series and alternatively named CBERS 3, has been lost on a launch by a Long March 4B launch vehicle flying from the Taiyuan launch site in China. The launch took place at 0326 GMT om 9 December. No further details have been released save to note that the 2,100kg satellite did not achieve a stable orbit due to a launch mishap. The spacecraft appears to have been injected several hundred kilometers below its planned sun-synchronous orbit and quickly re-entered to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
If launch vehicle related, the failure would represent the first ever Long March 4B failure out of 21 orbital launch attempts – a failure rate of 4.8%. According to the Flightglobal/Ascend SpaceTrak database, the failure rate across all Long March launch vehicles is 7%, falling to 4.1% as the rate for the past five years.