China successfully launched the Yaogan Weixing-32 Group-1 mission – consisting of two satellites – from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Tuesday. The launch took place from Launch Pad 94 of the LC43 launch complex using a Long March-2C launch vehicle.
The Yaogan Weixing-32 Group-1 mission is composed of two satellites that supposedly will be used for remote sensing purposes by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.
The official announcement of the launch noted that “the satellites have entered their planned orbits and will be used for electromagnetic environment surveys and other related technology tests.”
In previous missions, the designation of the Yaogan Weixing series was used to hide the true military nature of the satellites.
This was the first use of the new Yuanzheng-1S (Expedition-1S) upper stage. The Long March-2C is capable of carrying 1.2 tonnes to a 700 kilometer Sun-synchronous orbit, but with the new upper stage the payload capacity is increased to two tonnes. The new upper stage is capable of multiple burns to place satellites in different orbits.
The Chang Zheng 2C (Long March 2C) is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) launch vehicle derived from DF-5 ICBM.
It can be launched from either the Jiuquan Satellite Launch ...