Re-Entry of Chinese Spy Satellite Observed from Bolivia

Photo: YouTube - adrian villavicencio angus
Photo: YouTube – adrian villavicencio angus

The Re-Entry of a the Chinese ZiYuan-2 A reconnaissance satellite, also known under its military designation Jianbing-3 A, re-entered the atmosphere on March 10, 2016 after fifteen and a half years in orbit. The satellite was launched back in September 2000 and was in operation until 2004, delivering reconnaissance imagery at a ground resolution of around two meters.

The re-entry of the satellite was observed over Bolivia with a visible fragmentation into two principal components, one pulling out in front of the other before further disintegrating – burning up to a large extent in the atmosphere with only few fragments likely to reach the ground.

NORAD ID: 26481
Origin: China
Object: JB-3A
Type: ZiYuan-2 A Reconnaissance Satellite
Inclination: 97.1°
Launched: September 1, 2000 – 03:25 UTC
Launch Vehicle: Long March 4B
Launch Site: Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, China

Re-Entry Prediction: March 11, 2016 – 22:50 UTC
Re-Entry Zone: Bolivia


Re-Entry Zone
Image: Spaceflight101/Orbitron
Image: Spaceflight101/Orbitron