China launches pair of commercial remote sensing satellites

(ORDO NEWS) — A Long March 2C rocket launched a pair of optical remote sensing satellites into orbit early Friday morning to provide commercial remote sensing.

The Long March 2C rocket lifted off from the Jiuquan Space Center in the Gobi Desert at 12:11 a.m. on April 29, placing the Siwei-01 and 02 satellites into their planned sun-synchronous orbits.

The pair were later detected by American space tracking facilities in orbits measuring 486 by 502 kilometers, inclined by 97 degrees.

The satellites, also known as Superview Neo-1 01 and 02, have a mass of about 540 kilograms each and will transmit optical images with a resolution of 0.5 meters.

The satellites will provide commercial remote sensing services to traditional satellite data consumer industries, including natural resources, geodesy and mapping, maritime and environmental protection, as well as emerging markets, including urban security, digital rural development, smart agriculture and transportation, China says. MEDIA.

The satellites were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a major subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the country’s top space contractor and giant state-owned defense enterprise.

The satellite operator, China Siwei Surveying and Mapping Technology Co., Ltd, is also a subsidiary of CASC. The company also operates two pairs of “Gaojing” or Superview satellites, launched in December 2016 and January 2018, providing panchromatic imaging at a resolution of 0.5 meters.

China also has a commercial earth observation company, Changguang Satellite Technology. The remote sensing constellation operator from Changchun is a well-endowed CIOMP division of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and has launched more than 30 Jilin-1 series optical and video satellites with a panchromatic resolution of about 0.70 meters.

Friday’s launch was the 12th for China in 2022, in which CASC plans more than 50 launches. Launch attempts from commercial companies, including Landspace, Expace, Galactic Energy and others, are expected to add activity.

The launch of the Long March 11 solid rocket from a platform in the East China Sea, scheduled for April 29, was canceled due to bad weather.

A new attempt is scheduled for April 30 UT. The rocket’s flight path will pass over Taiwan, and the spent stages will fall into the sea. It is expected to deliver the new Jilin-1 satellites into orbit.

China has set up infrastructure in Haiyan, Shandong Province, to enable launches from the sea. These capabilities could help reduce congestion at other national spaceports and reduce the amount of debris falling near populated areas after launches from the country’s interior.

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