Lijian-1 rocket reportedly puts 26 satellites into orbit in its second mission but not all are confirmed

by | Jun 9, 2023 | China, Launches, Satellites, Seradata News

At 0410 GMT on 7 June 2023, the second launch of the Lijian-1 (Kinetica-1) rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Inner Mongolia, China reportedly put 26 satellites into orbit. This rocket built by CAS Space (partially owned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences) is one of the many aspiring new entrants in to the Chinese small launcher market in recent years.

While early reporting about the mission from Chinese sources all repeat the 26 satellite number, Western observers have only been able to identify specifics about a handful. Likewise, only some of the payloads have been confirmed as released.

The two headline spacecraft mentioned in most of the Chinese launch reports were the pair of Shiyan 24A and 24B experimental satellites for the Chinese government. Another seemingly confirmed satellite is Fucheng-1, a C-band SAR unit built by and for a Chinese regional entity. There have been other satellites reportedly confirmed in Chinese media however, these other claims do not yet account for more than a quarter of the potentially carried payloads on this mission.

The Lijian-1 rocket lifts-off from the desert. Courtesy: Xinhua/Wang Heng

 

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