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June 3-9, 2019 / Vol 38, No 22 / Hawai’i Island, USA

31 May 2019, 20:21 UTC
June 3-9, 2019 / Vol 38, No 22 / Hawai’i Island, USA
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China to Attempt Maiden Sea Launch with Long March 11 from Yellow Sea

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. is planning to launch Long March 11, dubbed ‘CZ-11 WEY’, from a modified ocean vessel on June 5 with two Jilin-1 Earth-imaging satellites for Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. With its successful launch, these satellites will join 10 others already operating in space. Fully funded by Jilin Province, the constellation may reach 60 in orbit ~2020 and 138 by 2030. This launch will mark the first-ever sea launch orbital attempt from Zhongguo. While not as near to the equator as launch centers of Wenchang 19°N or Xichang 28°N, launching offshore in the Yellow Sea will likely be farther South than facilities of Jiuquan 40°N and Taiyuan 38°N, taking advantage of the higher rotational speed of Earth and offering omnidirectional launch opportunities over population-free regions. Even better situated for pacific space access are Hawai’i Islands, which could provide optimal offshore astronautics – being midway between two mainlands, the southernmost point of USA, and near the center of Pacific Hemisphere. The return of ‘Sea Launch’ Commander vessel and the Odyssey launch platform, now owned by S7 Space and headquartered in Moscow, may occur ...

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