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China successfully launches satellites from ocean-going platform

17 Sep 2020, 23:38 UTC
China successfully launches satellites from ocean-going platform
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A Long March 11 rocket climbs away from a platform in the Yellow Sea on Tuesday. Credit: Xinhua
A solid-fueled Long March 11 launcher delivered nine small Chinese Earth observation satellites to orbit Tuesday after firing off a ship positioned in the Yellow Sea.
The four-stage rocket blasted off from the De Bo 3 launch platform in the Yellow Sea at 0123 GMT Tuesday (9:23 p.m. EDT Monday), according to China’s government-run Xinhua news agency. Liftoff occurred at 9:23 a.m. Beijing time.
The booster quickly raced into the sky, heading south over the Yellow Sea trailing a plume of solid rocket exhaust. Chinese officials later declared the mission a success, and U.S. military tracking data showed the rocket reached a polar sun-synchronous orbit very close to the targeted altitude of 332 miles (535 kilometers).
The Long March 11 flight Tuesday was the second Chinese sea-based launch into orbit, following a Long March 11 mission in June 2019. With the mission this week, China has launched Long March 11 rockets on 10 missions since 2015, and all have been successful.
Developed by the state-owned China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, or CALT, the Long March 11 measures about 68 feet (20.8 ...

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