After two launch mishaps that casted a shadow on the launch plans for 2017, China conducted a secretive launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province on Friday. An unidentified satellite was launched by the Long March-2C (Y29) at 04:20 UTC from the LC3 Launch Complex.
The launch comes after the loss of the communications satellite Shijian-18 on the second launch of the heavy Long March-5 rocket on July 2, along with the underperformance of the third stage of the Long March-3B/G2 launch vehicle that left the Zhongxing-9A (Chinasat-9A) in a wrong orbit.
Eventually, after utilizing its own propulsion system, the Chinasat-9A managed to reach its operational geostationary orbit.
Nothing is known about this latest launch other than the launch vehicle and the launch site. It is hoped the spacecraft it was carrying will be listed by Chinese State Media later on Friday.
This article will be updated once that information is forthcoming.
The launch vehicle in question was the Chang Zheng 2C (Long March 2C), a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) launch vehicle derived from DF-5 ICBM.
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