News ID: 198522
Published: 0619 GMT August 13, 2017

Control center resolves over 10 major satellite faults in 50 years

Control center resolves over 10 major satellite faults in 50 years
news.xinhuanet.com

Over the 50 years since its founding, the Xi'an Satellite Control Center has successfully resolved major faults in over 10 satellites, saving the country billions yuan in possible losses.

Founded in 1967, the center is tasked with routine telemetry, orbit control and breakdown diagnosis and maintenance of satellites, news.xinhuanet.com wrote. 

In one case, the center successfully sent the communications satellite Zhongxing-9A into correct orbit, after it had failed to enter its preset orbit after launch.

Yang Yong'an, senior engineer at the center, said, “The satellite was launched on June 19, 2017. Abnormal performance during the launch stage had caused the satellite to orbit about 16,420km above the Earth's surface while its preset orbit was at 41,991km above the Earth.”

Over the following 16 days, staff members at the center carried out consultations with the satellite's designer and manufacturer and formulated a solution.

After 10 orbit adjustments, the satellite finally entered the preset orbit. In another case, the maritime satellite Haiyang-2, launched in August, 2011, began to fail soon after entering orbit and was at risk of disintegrating.

Fan Henghai, chief technician at the time, worked with other staff members for 45 days to successfully fix the problem.

The center currently monitors and manages over 100 Chinese spacecraft in orbit.

Li Weiping, senior engineer at the center, said, “Over the last three years, the center has debugged hundreds of satellite glitches.”

   
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