4 satellites to provide commercial remote sensing data were launched in China

On October 7, 2015, Chinese conducted successful launch of Long March 2D launch vehicle carrying 4 Earth remote sensing satellites into a sun-synchronous orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province.

It was the 213th mission of Long-March-series of launchers. Recently China already conducted 3 space missions, one of Long March 3B with BeiDou navigation satellite and two debuts of Long March 6 and Long March 11 with technology-proof spacecraft.

Launch of Long March 2D with so-called Jilin-1 mission. Credit: Xinhua News
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Latest "Jilin-1" mission featured one optical remote-sensing satellite, two satellites for video imaging, and a spacecraft to test imaging technologies. Four satellites, designated as Jilin-1, Lingqiao-A, Lingqiao-B and LQSat, were developed and produced by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. of Jilin province.

The company will also take charge of commercial operations of the satellites to provide remote-sensing data and relevant products, which may be used for monitoring, development and surveying of resources, as well as mapping and disaster prevention for domestic and overseas clients.

"Satellites are no longer far removed from people's lives. In the near future, more information provided by the satellites will be shared, and more satellite functions will be explored." Xuan Ming, Chairman of the Board at Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co.

Jilin, one of the country's oldest industrial bases, is developing its satellite industry as a new economic driver. Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co., sponsored by Jilin provincial government, Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and some privately-owned companies, plans to launch 60 satellites by 2020 and 137 by 2030.

Jilin 1 is a 420 kg high-definition optical satellite with a 0.72 m resolution pan-chromatic camera and 4 m resolution multi-spectral camera. It is equipped with three deployable solar panels for power generation. Lingqiao-A and Lingqiao-B satellites, weighing 95 kg each, are designed to capture videos with a 4K ultra-clear video resolution of 1.13 meters m on 4.3 x 2.4 km swaths.

Jilin-1 satellite. Credit: GBTimes
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LQSat is a micro-satellite for technology demonstration. Its main payload is experimental imager with a ground resolution of 5 m. LQSat is equipped with a fixed solar array for power generation. Satellite has a mass of about 54 kg, and a lifetime of near 1 year.

Next Chinese launch is expected for October 17, when Long March 3B is to orbit APStar-9 telecommunications satellite of Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Holdings from Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

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