China's KZ-1A rocket launches two satellites
by Staff Writers
Jiuquan, China (XNA) Sep 02, 2019
Two satellites for technological experiments were sent into space by a Kuaizhou-1A, or KZ-1A, carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Saturday.
The rocket blasted off at 7:41 a.m. and sent the two satellites into their planned orbit.
Kuaizhou-1A, meaning speedy vessel, is a low-cost solid-fuel carrier rocket with high reliability and a short preparation period. The rocket, developed by a company under the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, is mainly used to launch low-orbit microsatellites.
Saturday's launch was the third mission of the KZ-1A rocket.
One of the newly launched satellites was developed by the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and will be used for microgravity technology experiments.
It will conduct on-orbit experiments on ultra-high precision control and measurement technologies under microgravity conditions, according to the CAS.
The technologies will lay a solid foundation for space science tasks and frontier basic science research, such as space-based gravitational wave detection and ultra-high precision inertial navigation, CAS said.
The other satellite, developed by Spacety Co., Ltd. (Changsha), a privately owned Chinese commercial space company, will be used to test solar sail technology.
The microgravity technology experiment satellite belongs to the second phase of a space science program of the CAS. During the first phase, a series of space science satellites have been sent into space, including the DAMPE to search for dark matter, the world's first quantum satellite and the HXMT, China's first X-ray space telescope.
In the coming three to four years, China plans to launch new space science satellites including the Gravitational Wave Electromagnetic Counterpart All-sky Monitor (GECAM), the Advanced Space-borne Solar Observatory (ASO-S), the Einstein-Probe (EP) and the Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) to study gravitational waves, black holes, the relationship between the solar system and humanity, and the origin and evolution of the universe.
China to launch polar-observing microsat
The satellite called "Ice Pathfinder" (Code: BNU-1), which weighs only 10 kg, is equipped with high-resolution cameras that can achieve full coverage of the Antarctic and Arctic in five days and strengthen monitoring of sea ice drifts and ice-shelf calving.
In addition, it has an automatic identification system for vessels to navigate through parts or the entirety of the polar regions.
The polar-observing microsat was initiated by scientists from the Beijing Normal University and developed by Shenzhen Aerospace Dongfanghong Development Ltd. It will be operated by Chinese University Corporation for Polar Research.
With a design life of one year, it will improve China's polar remote sensing capability. Its data will also be used to study global climate changes and develop Arctic shipping routes, according to Cheng Xiao, lead scientist of the project.
In the past, Chinese scientists conducted polar studies mainly based on data collected by vessels and research stations. The use of remote sensing satellite technology will enable them to monitor and obtain imagery and data of the difficult-to-access areas.
"The satellite will make up for China's lack of polar observation data and reduce its dependence on other countries for the technology," said Cheng.
The Ice Pathfinder was the first member of China's polar observation satellite constellation, which will have a total of 24 satellites. They are designed to provide 24/7 all-weather polar observation.
These satellites will also monitor the middle or lower latitude areas, playing a key role in the research of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, or the Third Pole region in the future.
China's newly launched communication satellite suffers abnormality
Beijing (XNA) Aug 21, 2019
China's new communication satellite ChinaSat 18, sent into space on Monday, has experienced abnormalities, and space engineers are investigating the cause. The ChinaSat 18 satellite was launched at 8:03 p.m. (Beijing Time) on a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province. The satellite separated with the carrier rocket as normal, but is now working abnormally. span class="BDL">Source: Xinhua News Agency /span> br> ... read more
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