Sunday, August 30, 2015

China Launches its Yaogan 27 Satellite

A Long March-4C rocket carrying the Yaogan-27 remote sensing satellite blasts off from the launch pad at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, Aug. 27, 2015. Credit: Xinhua/Yan Yan

China launched its latest spy satellite into orbit on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 10:31 p.m. EDT (02:31 GMT) aboard a Long March 4C rocket from the country’s LC9 launch complex at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northeastern China’s Shanxi province. Designated Yaogan 27, the spacecraft is described by Chinese media as a remote satellite that will be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster prevention. But the western analysts believe it will be used for military purposes.

The satellite is a part of the Yaogan Weixing series and is believed to be a third generation electro-optical satellite equipped with a high-resolution wide-angle observation system. Yaogan 27 also includes Synthetic Aperture Radar systems for all-weather imaging and payloads that are used to track activity on a foreign territory.

China hasn’t provided any information about the satellite's identity and orbit. The U.S. military’s Space Surveillance Network shows that the Yaogan 27, was put into an orbit about 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) above Earth at an inclination of approximately 100 degrees.

This orbit matches that of the four in Yaogan series satellites (launched in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014), both in altitude and inclination, confirming that Yaogan 27 belongs to this group of third generation electro-optical spacecraft.

Yaogan 27 is based on the Phoenix Eye-2 bus. The satellites featuring this platform can have launch masses in excess of 2 tons with two three-panel solar arrays, a three-axis attitude determination and control platform for precise pointing, and a propulsion system consisting of orbit correction engines and attitude control thrusters.

China launched the first Yaogan satellite in 2006. 

The Long March 4C booster used in Thursday’s launch has a liftoff mass of 250 tons and is 150 ft. in length with a diameter of 11 ft. It is capable of delivering payloads of up to 4.2 tons to the Low Earth Orbit, 2.8 tons to the Sun Synchronous Orbit and up to 1.5 tons to the Geostationary Transfer Orbit.

Thursday’s launch was China’s fourth space launch of the year, and the 17th flight of a Long March 4C rocket. It was the 220th Chinese orbital launch overall and the 53rd successful orbital launch from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center.

No comments:

Post a Comment