China successfully conducted its first launch of 2013 at 0413 GMT on 26 April from the Jiuquan Space Launch Centre in China. The Long March 2D vehicle carried the Chinese Gaofen 1 earth observation satellite, and three cubesats into a sun-synchronous orbit. The accompanying passengers were the Turkish Turksat-3USat , the Ecuadorian NEE-01-Pegasso, and the Argentinian Cubebug-1 (aka Capitan Beto) satellites
The Gaofen 1 satellite is based upon the CAST 2000 satellite bus, with an expected lifetime of 5 years the satellite carries a 2 metre resolution panchromatic camera, an 8 metre resolution multispectral camera and a 16 metre wide field multispectral camera. The satellite had a launch mass of 1266 kg.
The Turksat-3USat is a 3U Cubesat with a launch mass of 4 kg. The satellite which was built by the Istanbul Technical University is carrying a small camera for occasional snapshots of target areas and a UHF/VHF transponder to be used for voice communications.
The NEE-01 Pegasso satellite which is owned and built by the Ecuadorian Space Agency, is a 1U cubesat with a launch mass of 1 kg. The satellite will be mainly used for the test of real time video transmission and also testing of multi-phase solar array, a passive antenna deployment system, a thermal and radiation shield and test of a carbon nano-tubes thermal control system. This is the first satellite to be launched for Ecuador.
The Argentinian Cubebug 1 is a 2U cubesat built by Satellogic S.A. and was sponsored by the Argentinian Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Invap S.E., Satellogic S.A., and Radio Club Bariloche. The satellite carries a low resolution camera and had a launch mass of 2kg.