updated 11/28/2006 8:13:41 PM ET 2006-11-29T01:13:41

A Chinese company confirmed Tuesday that a domestically built broadcast satellite it sent into orbit last month failed to deploy properly. It also said it would launch another next year.

SINO Satellite Communications Ltd. said its Sinosat-3 satellite was scheduled to launch in the "first half of next year." In a statement on its Web site, it said preparations were going well.

Sinosat-2, launched on Oct. 29 from Sichuan province in southwest China, reached its proper orbit but failed because its solar panels and communications antenna did not open properly.

The satellite was to deliver television signals and digital broadband multimedia services to homes across China.

The Sinosat-2 and Sinosat-3 satellites were built for the company by the state-run China Academy of Space Technology.

Sinosat-1, built by the French company Aerospatiale, was launched successfully in 1998.

China's decades-old aerospace program has gathered momentum in recent years, allowing the country to place more advanced satellites into orbit for both commercial and military purposes.

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