China successfully launched a Long March 2D vehicle carrying four satellites, Xinjishu Shiyan-C, Xinjishu Shiyan-D Xinjishu Shiyan-E and Xinjishu Shiyan-F – more commonly known as XJS-C, XJS-D, XJS-E and XJS-F respectively – at 2107 GMT on 19 February from the Xichang Space Centre in China.
The satellites will be used to carry out inter satellite networking and new Earth Observation technology tests. The XJS-C & D satellites were made by SAST, XJS-E was made by the Harbin Institute of Technology, and XJS-F was made by CAST’s DFH Satellite Co.
This launch was unusual as it the first launch of a Long March 2D (CZ-2D) from the Xichang launch site in the Sichuan province of China which more normally hosts Long March 3 series launches. Long March 2D rockets normally fly out of Jiuquan Space Centre in Inner Mongolia or occasionally from Taiyuan in Shanxi.
David Todd contributed to this report.