China Launches Satellite For a Short-Term Scientific Mission

August 29, 2004
Launch of Long March 2C (Aug 1992)

Space officials said on Sunday China launched a science experimental satellite. The satellite was launched atop a Long March 2C carrier rocket in the afternoon, Xinhua news agency said.

The satellite will remain in orbit for a few days and will carry out scientific experiments: land surveying, mapping and other.

Officials said this is the 19th recoverable science experimental satellite China has launched.

About Long March:

A series of Chinese launch vehicles, the most recent of which support China’s current unmanned and nascent manned space programs. Long March rockets are descendants of ballistic missiles developed by China in the 1960s following the breakdown of Sino-Soviet relations in June 1959. They fall into three generations.

Long March CZ-2C is a successful low-Earth-orbit rocket with a payload of about 2,800 kg, derived from the DF-5 ICBM, which formed the basis for future Long March launch vehicles. On October 6, 1992, on its 13th flight, the CZ-2C successfully launched the Swedish Freja satellite as a copassenger. On April 28, 1993, the Chinese Great Wall Industrial Corporation and Motorola signed a contract for multiple launch of Iridium satellites using the CZ-2C/SD, a 2C variant with a newly developed Smart Dispenser and improved second stage tanks and engines. The first deployment launches for the Iridium program (each carrying two satellites) went ahead successfully in 1997-98.

Image: Launch of Long March 2C (Aug 1992)

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