A Long March 2C rocket lifts off Thursday with four Chinese satellites. Credit: Xinhua
Three Chinese military satellites and a civilian data relay payload launched Thursday aboard a Long March 2C rocket.
The four spacecraft rocketed into a 370-mile-high (600-kilometer) orbit from the Xichang launch base, situated in a mountainous part of Sichuan province in southwestern China, with a liftoff at 1811 GMT (2:11 p.m. EDT) Thursday.
Launch occurred at 2:11 a.m. Beijing time Friday, according to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, or CALT, the government-owned contractor that proceed the Long March 2C rocket.
Officials declared the mission a “complete success,” according to a CALT statement. U.S. military tracking data indicated the two-stage, liquid-fueled rocket delivered its payloads to the intended orbit inclined 35 degrees to the equator.
The satellites are the eighth triplet of Yaogan 30-type spacecraft since 2017 launched on Long March 2C rockets from the Xichang facility into similar orbits. The three Yaogan 30-08 satellites launched Thursday are designed for “electromagnetic environmental detection and related technological tests,” China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said.
The Chinese government uses the Yaogan name for the country’s military satellites, and the Yaogan 30 family is believed to be designed ...