China’s Kuaizhou 1A quick launch rocket puts three commercial satellites into orbit

by | Jan 10, 2017 | China, commercial launch services, Launches, Satellites, Seradata News | 0 comments

The first launch of the “quick launch” Chinese Kuaizhou 1A (Feitian 1) launch vehicle took place from the Jiuquan launch centre in the Gobi Desert on 9 January at 0411 GMT. While the earlier Kuaizhou 1 incarnation of this rocket series had its fourth stage still remain attached to the payload. This new 1A version of the four stage Kuaizhou rocket (three stage solid, fourth stage liquid propellants) carries a special dispenser to fully separate from a multi satellite payload, in this case to release them into a near polar Sun-synchronous low Earth orbit.

Kuaizhou 1A launches from Jiuquan. Courtesy: Xinhua

Kuaizhou 1A launches from Jiuquan. Courtesy: Xinhua

The major payload on the flight was the JL-1 (Jilin Linye-1) spacecraft which is part of the commercial Jilin (Lingqiao) constellation of imaging satellites of Chang Guang Satellite Technology Ltd. The launch was a commercially arranged by Expace, a commercial arm of CASIC.

This one is apparently concentrating on imaging forestry using a high definition video camera with 1m resolution with a swath of 11 km × 4.5 km.

Two secondary payload satellites were also carried. They included the Caton 1 nanosat to test VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) and AIS ship tracking, and the Xingyun Shiyan 1 (XYSY-1) spacecraft to test low Earth orbit narrow band downlink communications.

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