satellite launch fails, likely fell back to Earth
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[December 11, 2013]
BRASILIA (Reuters) — A
Chinese-Brazilian satellite launched by China on Monday failed to
reached its planned orbit and likely fell back to Earth, Brazil's
Ministry of Science said.
The satellite was the fourth in a series designed to monitor land
use in Brazil, including forest cover in the Amazon basin. Brazil's
space program is seeking to reduce the country's dependence on U.S.
and European space equipment and launch vehicles and expand the
domestic aerospace industry, already the world's No. 3 producer of
commercial jet aircraft.
The government is also seeking to increase control over its long and
largely unguarded land border and better manage forest, mineral,
water and agricultural resources in its vast and thinly populated
The CBERS-3 satellite developed by China and Brazil was carried to
space on Monday morning aboard a Long March 4B rocket from China's
Taiyuan satellite launch center, the Brazilian ministry said in a
"There was a failure in the launch vehicle during flight and the
satellite was not positioned in the right orbit. Preliminary
evaluations suggest CBERS-3 has returned to Earth," it said.
The ministry said the causes are being investigated, and Brazil and
China have agreed to speed up plans to launch the next satellite
planned in the series, CBERS-4.
The misfire underscored Brazil's desire to establish its own launch
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Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA and state telecom Telebras signed a
deal last month to put a national defense and communications
satellite in orbit for 1.3 billion reais ($560 million) by the end
of 2016. The satellite will be built by French aerospace supplier
Thales and launched by space-transport company Arianespace from
($1 = 2.3204 Brazilian reais)
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; editing by Eric Beech)
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