Saturday, October 26, 2013

China Launches Experimental Satellite Shijian-16

China launches experimental satellite Shijian-16. Credit: news.cn

China successfully launched its Shijian-16 satellite for space research and experiments Friday, the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center said. The satellite was boosted by a Long March-4B carrier rocket at 11:50, according to the center in northwest China. Shijian-16 is used mainly for conducting space environment exploration and technological experiments. Friday's launch marked the 182nd launch boosted by a Long March rocket. Shijian means "practice" in Chinese.

The rocket put the Shijian 16 satellite in orbit about 13 minutes later. Tracking data released by the U.S. military showed the three-stage rocket achieved an orbit about 375 miles high with an inclination of 75 degrees.

Xinhua reported the launch was successful, but Chinese news sources did not announce the launch in advance, in keeping with standard practice for most of the nation's military space missions.

Friday's launch was the 57th space mission to reach Earth orbit in 2013, and it was China's 9th space launch of the year, all successful.

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