China launched two orbital missions in quick succession during mid-September 2015. On 12 September 2015, a Long March 3B launch vehicle carried a spacecraft dubbed the Communications Engineering Test Satellite 1 (aka Tongxing Jisshu Shiyan Weixing yi hao – TXJSSW 1) into orbit. The launch took place at 1542 GMT from the Xichang launch site in China and, and after an initial parking orbit, deployed the spacecraft into a full Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
The launch on 14 September was of a Long March 2D/2 (CZ-2D/2) rocket which lifted off at 0445 GMT from the Jiuquan launch site. It was carrying a Gaofen 9 Earth observation spacecraft, placing it into a sun-synchronous orbit of 664 x 618km with a 98 degree inclination. Built by the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology (SAST), the spacecraft, which has a reported ground resolution of under 1m, has been admitted by Chinese sources as having a dual military/civilian use.