Chinese Communications Satellite Reaches Planned Orbit After Launch Anomaly

A Chinese communications satellite left in a lower-than-planned orbit due to a botched launch has reached its intended destination, the Xinhua news agency reports.

ChinaSat-9A (Zhongxing-9A) raised its orbit though a series of 10 firings of its on board propulsion system. Xinhua did not say how much the use of the fuel — normally used for station keeping — has reduced the planned lifetime of the spacecraft.

The satellite was launched on June 19 aboard a Long March 3B booster, which malfunctioned in flight.

“An anomaly was found on the carrier rocket’s rolling control thruster, part of the attitude control engine, during the third gliding phase, according to an investigation,” Xinhua reports.