China launched its 22nd space mission of 2020
China has launched two satellites on August 6 for Earth observation objectives. The observatory satellite, along with a small one, has been launched from the desert Gobi. Tsinghua University makes the other small satellite. The time of initiation of this long march 2D rocket from Jiuquan in the Gobi Desert was at 12:01 p.m. local time August 6 (12:01 a.m. EDT, 0401 GMT).
The Gaofen 9 (04) and Q-sat are these two satellites. Of these two, Gaofen is of importance due to its optical observation capability as it will provide high-resolution images showing the features as small as 1 meter or 3 feet across.
Gaofen 9 has two predecessors already launched earlier this year. As part of China’s High-Resolution Earth Observation System, these satellites will join the other Gaofen and Earth observation satellites in space. The high-resolution images will help in land surveys, planning, land-rights confirmation, road designs, crop-yield estimations, and disaster prevention.
Gaofen 9 (04) manufacturer is the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Whereas, the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology has manufactured the two-stage Long March 2D rocket. On the other hand, Q-sat will help in verifying technology and will measure atmospheric density and collect gravity field data.
The long march 2D rocket has experienced its 50th launch today. Long March 2D started in August 1992. It has failed only once in 2016 during the launch of 3 satellites, sent to lower than intended orbits.
After today’s launch, China has carried out 22 space launches in 2020, including a test flight of the Long March 5B for space-station missions and the launch of the Tianwen-1 Mars mission. Out of these 22 flights, 3 were failures. The country led the world in launches in 2018 and 2019, launching 39 and 34 times, respectively.