Encyclopedia Astronautica
DFH-3



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DFH-3
dfh3.jpg
DFH-3
Credit: via Chen Lan
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DFH-3
Credit: © Mark Wade
Chinese military communications satellite using indigenous technologies. Operational, first launch 1994.02.08.

On-orbit mass was over one metric ton. The box-shaped satellite was equipped with two large solar panels and was 3-axis stabilized. The communications payload could consist of up to 24 6/4 GHz transponders and the design life was eight years.

The satellite was equipped with an FY-25 liquid propellant motor for apogee insertion and stationkeeping. The motor was rated for 1800 seconds total firing time. Technical assistance in overall system design and implementation was provided by MBB of Germany under a special contract. In August 2001 it was announced that China's first direct TV broadcasting satellite would be launched by 2004, and that it would use the DFH-3 bus.

AKA: Dong Fang Hong.
Gross mass: 2,230 kg (4,910 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 1,130 kg (2,490 lb).
Height: 1.70 m (5.50 ft).
Span: 18.10 m (59.30 ft).
First Launch: 1994.02.08.
Last Launch: 2010.11.24.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • FY-25 Beijing Wan Yuan rocket engine. In Production. Chinese liquid apogee insertion motor. 1800 seconds rated firing time. First flight 1994. More...

See also
  • CZ China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • CZ Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...
  • CZ-3A Chinese three-stage orbital launch vehicle. The Long March 3A, by incorporating the mature technologies of the CZ-3 and adding a more powerful cryogenic third stage and more capable control system, had a greater geosynchronous transfer orbit capability, greater flexibility for attitude control, and better adaptability to a variety of launch missions. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CAST Chinese manufacturer of spacecraft. China Academy of Space Technology, Beijing, China. More...
  • Chinasat Chinese agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Chinasat, China. More...
  • CNSA Chinese agency overseeing development of spacecraft. China National Space Agency, China. More...

Associated Programs
  • Chinastar Zhongxing and Zhongwei (Chinastar) communications satellites were orbited by China Orient Telecommunications Satellite Company, part of the Chinese telecommunications ministry. A combination of indigenous and foreign satellites are used. Zhongxing 1 to 4 were apparently some of the earlier DFH-2 and DFH-3 satellites (although more than four reached geosynchronous orbit). Zhongxing 5 was the former Spacenet 1. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Johnson, Nicholas L; and Rodvold, David M, Europe and Asia in Space 1993-1994, USAF Phillips Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM 80907, 1995..
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Wen-Rui Hu, Editor, Space Science in China, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, China, 1997..

Associated Launch Sites
  • Xichang China's launch site for geosynchronous orbit launches. Xichang Satellite Launch Centre is situated in Xichang, Sichuan Province, south-western China. The launch pad is at 102.0 degrees East and 28.2 degrees North. The head office of the launch centre is located in Xichang City, about 65 kilometers away. Xichang Airport is 50 km away. A dedicated railway and highway lead directly to the launch site. More...

DFH-3 Chronology


1994 February 8 - . 08:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3A. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3A CZ3A-1 (32).
  • KF-1 - . Payload: Kua Fu 1 / DFH-3 mockup. Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Program: Chinastar. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-3. Decay Date: 2002-02-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 23009 . COSPAR: 1994-010B. Apogee: 36,046 km (22,397 mi). Perigee: 178 km (110 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 635.69 min. Summary: Mass model of DFH-3 satellite..

1994 November 29 - . 17:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3A. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3A CZ3A-2 (36).
  • Zhongxing-5 - . Mass: 2,230 kg (4,910 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-3. Completed Operations Date: 1994-12-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 23415 . COSPAR: 1994-080A. Apogee: 35,957 km (22,342 mi). Perigee: 35,225 km (21,887 mi). Inclination: 0.1500 deg. Period: 1,426.15 min. The first test launch of a DFH-3 by a CZ-3A launch vehicle was successful in attaining the proper transfer orbit, but during the subsequent manoeuvres to achieve geostationary orbit, the DFH-3 failed due to a malfunction of the satellite on-board propulsion system. The satellite was positioned at 132 deg E prior to the failure. As of 4 September 2001 located at 113.80 deg E drifting at 2.499 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 2 located at 90.02E drifting at 2.513E degrees per day.

1997 May 11 - . 16:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3A. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3A CZ3A-3 (44).
  • Zhongxing-6 - . Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 24798 . COSPAR: 1997-021A. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. The telecommunications satellite, the most sophisticated and complex satellite ever built in China, was equipped with 24 transponders used for television, digital transmission and other telecommunications services. It had a design life eight years. After over one year of tests the satellite was delivered to the end user, China Telecommunications Broadcast Satellite Corporation (Chinasat) on August 12 1998. A long term operation contract for the redesignated Chinasat-6 was signed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), Chinasat and the Xian Satellite Control Center. Chinasat-6 operated in geosynchronous orbit at 125 deg E in 1997-1999. As of 5 September 2001 located at 124.99 deg E drifting at 0.011 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 6 located at 123.93E drifting at 0.104W degrees per day.

2003 November 14 - . 16:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3A. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3A CZ3A-8 (74).
  • Zhongxing 20 - . Payload: Feng Huo 2. Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 28082 . COSPAR: 2003-052A. Apogee: 35,811 km (22,251 mi). Perigee: 35,762 km (22,221 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Military communications satellite. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 103.00E drifting at 0.010W degrees per day..

2007 May 31 - . 16:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3A. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3A CZ3A-14 (100).
  • Sinosat 3 - . Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SinoSatCom. Manufacturer: CAST. Program: Sinosat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 31577 . COSPAR: 2007-021A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.3000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Chinese C-band domestic communications satellite, launched as part of a campaign to prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games, and to compensate for failure of the first DFH-4 satellite..

2010 November 24 - . 16:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3A.
  • Chinasat 20A - . Payload: Zhongxing 20A. Nation: China. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 37234 . COSPAR: 2010-064A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

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