Science

China launches 16 commercial remote sensing and meteorological satellites

China has completed its ninth orbital mission in the past 30 days, sending 16 new commercial satellites into orbit using the Long March 6 rocket.

The Long March 6 rocket lifted off from Taiyuan in northern China on Wednesday (August 10) at 04:50 ET (04:50 GMT, 12:50 local time), the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said. . (will open in a new tab).

On board were 10 Jilin 1 high-resolution optical imagery satellites for Chang Guang Satellite Technology (CGST), a manufacturer and operator of commercial satellites based in northeast China and a subsidiary of the Chinese National Academy of Sciences.

Related: Latest news about China’s space program

rocket launch

Launch of the Long March 6 rocket carrying 16 commercial remote sensing satellites. 10, 2022. (Image credit: OurSpace/CNSA)

The satellites are based on the Jilin 1 Gaofen 03D satellite platform, designed to deliver 29.5 inches (75 centimeters) resolution images from about 322 miles (535 kilometers) above the Earth.

The remaining six satellites were also developed by CGST in conjunction with Yunyao Aerospace, a commercial meteorological satellite data company.

The Jilin 1 Hongwai 1 (“Infrared 1”) A01-A06 satellites carry infrared payloads. They are also equipped with GNSS occultation instruments that detect signals from GPS, Beidou and other navigation and positioning satellites passing through the atmosphere to provide data useful for weather forecasting and atmospheric tracking. spacenews (will open in a new tab)reports that Yunyao Aerospace is planning a constellation of 80 satellites carrying its occultation and reflectometry GNSS payloads.

The launch comes one day after commercial rocket company Galactic Energy launched its third Ceres 1 rocket from Jiuquan, northwest China.

China also launched a new space station module, a secret space plane, a communications relay satellite, a constellation of spy satellites, a pair of 11.8 inches (30 centimeters) per pixel imaging satellites, a carbon monitoring satellite and a new commercial satellite. missiles in the last 30 days.

CASC plans to have more than 50 launches in 2022, with commercial companies such as Galactic Energy, CAS Space and Expace planning to further increase launch activity in China.

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