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DFH-3 1, 2 (ZX 6 / ChinaSat 6)


The DFH-3 satellite is a medium-capacity geostationary communications satellite based on the DFH-3 Bus (three-axis-stabilized telecommunications satellite platform). The 2200 kg satellite carries 24 C-band transponders, providing six television channels and 18 communications transmission channels. It has a power supply of 2 kW and a design life of 8 years.

On 29 November, DFH-3 1was launched, entering GTO precisely as planned. Unfortunately, however, the apogee kick stage malfunctioned, causing Chinese officials to use the spacecraft's propulsion system to lift the vehicle into a sub-geosynchronous orbit where the spacecraft was declared lost.

The second DFH-3 satellite was launched on 12 May 1997 and got to its orbital slot thereafter. It has experienced malfunctions in attitude stabilisation which resulted in excessive fuel consumption that may reduce its operational life. It is currently operating normally.

Nation: China
Type / Application: Communication
Contractors: CAST
Equipment: 24 C-band transponders
Configuration: DFH-3 Bus
Propulsion: ?
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 8 years
Mass: 2200 kg
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
DFH-3 1 1994-080A 29.11.1994 Xi LC-2 CZ-3A apogee kick motor malfunction
DFH-3 2 (ZX 6, ChinaSat 6) 1997-021A 11.05.1997 Xi LC-2 CZ-3A

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