Astronomy and Space News - Astro Watch: Long March 11 Lifts Off with Four Satellites

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Monday, January 21, 2019

Long March 11 Lifts Off with Four Satellites

Long March 11 launch on January 21, 2019. Credit: Xinhua/Wang Jiangbo

China launched two satellites for multispectral imaging on a Long March 11 rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 1:42 pm on Monday, January 21. The launch also sent two smaller test satellites into orbit.

The two multispectral satellites, part of the Jilin-1 satellite family, were independently developed by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd.

Loaded with a multi-spectral imager and an infrared camera, they will form a network with the 10 previously launched Jilin-1 satellites, providing remote sensing data and services for forestry, shipping and resource and environmental monitoring.

The Jilin-1 constellation was developed in China’s Jilin Province and is the country’s first self-developed remote sensing satellite for commercial use.

Jilin, one of the country’s oldest industrial bases, is developing its satellite industry in a new economic drive. The province plans to launch 60 satellites by 2020 and 138 by 2030.

The launch also carried two test satellites. Lingque-1A is the first verifying satellite for the Lingque Constellation planned by Beijing ZeroG Technology Co., Ltd. It can take photos of Earth, conduct high-speed data transmission and inter-satellite communication.

Xiaoxiang-1 03 is a technology test satellite developed by Spacety Co., Ltd. based in Changsha, Hunan Province. It will be used to verify radio communication and small remote sensing experiments.

Monday's launch marked the 299th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.

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