50th mission for Long March 2D places two payloads in to LEO: Gaofen 9-4 & Tsingua Kexue Weixing

by | Aug 6, 2020 | China, Launches, Seradata News

China launched a Long March 2D (CZ-2D) rocket at 0401 GMT on 6 August 2020 from its Jiuquan launch site. It carried Gaofen 9-4 was the launch’s primary payload which is a 1,080 kg military satellite providing sub-metre resolution imagery apparently for both military and civilian purposes. By the way, China has never formally admitted to launching a military satellite.

The other satellite carried was a small one from Tsinghua University dubbed Tsinghua Kexue Weixing (Tsinghua science satellite) which will be doing research into atmospheric science.

This was the 50th launch of the Long March 2D variant of the Long March family. According the the Seradata SpaceTrak database, there has only been one failure to date. In December 2016, a launch carried two Superview 1 (-01 and -02) remote sensing satellites and the BY70-1 amateur communications satellite into the wrong orbit due to a first stage under-performance. The two Superview satellites managed to use some of their on-board fuel to recover themselves, while the BY70-1 satellite’s mission was not though to be seriously affected by the error.

David Todd contributed to this story.

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