(ORDO NEWS) — A Long March rocket launched eight Jilin-1 Earth remote sensing satellites, days after the previous batch went into orbit from an offshore platform.
A Long March 2D rocket took off today from the Taiyuan satellite launch center in northern China at 05:38 Moscow time.
On board were seven Jilin-1 Gaofen 03D satellites numbered 27 to 33 and a larger Jilin-1 Kuanfu 01C wide-field satellite for Changguang Satellite Technology (CGST), the commercial remote sensing arm of the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
Jilin-1 Gaofen satellites weighing about 43 kilograms transmit panchromatic images with a resolution of 0.75 meters or three meters in multispectral mode.
The weight of the Jilin-1 Kuanfu 01C satellite is about 1250 kilograms. The Changguang Satellite’s swath width exceeds 150 kilometers, providing images with a resolution of 0.5 meters in full color mode and 2 meters in multispectral mode.
Today’s launch follows the April 30 launch of five other Jilin-1 satellites, namely Jilin-1 Gaofen 03D04 – 07 and Gaofen 04A with a resolution of 0.50 meters. The launch had previously been delayed due to bad weather.
The satellites were launched into sun-synchronous orbits of approximately 530 by 546 kilometers using a Long March 11 solid rocket launched from an offshore platform in the Yellow Sea. It was China’s third offshore launch and the most southerly launch from the offshore spaceports located in Haiyan, Shandong province.
China has built infrastructure in Haiyan to enable offshore launches. These capabilities could help reduce congestion at other national spaceports and reduce the amount of debris falling near population centers after domestic launches.
In addition, for the first time, a nearby final assembly and testing facility was used to launch Long March 11, which had a positive impact on launch preparation time and transportation costs.
CGST is one of the most well-known and well-funded commercial space companies to emerge in China following the 2014 political decision to open up the sector to private capital.
In November 2020, the company received US$375 million in funding for its Jilin 1 project and has the largest Chinese commercial constellation in orbit to date. CGST is based in Changchun, the capital of Jilin Province, after which the group is named.
Changguang Satellite currently has 54 satellites in orbit and claims its Jilin-1 constellation can re-pass anywhere on Earth 17 to 20 times a day, providing more remote sensing data and services for use by industries such as agriculture. and forestry, oceans, environmental protection, urban construction and scientific experiments.
CGST plans to complete a full constellation of 138 satellites by around 2030.
CASC plans more than 50 launches in 2022, including six flights to the Chinese space station.
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