Late Tuesday, a Long March 4C rocket launched the third in a set of three -Yaogan-31 reconnaissance spacecrafts into space. Long March 4C launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center situated in the Gobi Desert at around 9:22 p.m. Eastern on February 23, marking the start of launch operations after the Chinese New Year. Under two hours of a blastoff, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) declared the mission a success.
The spacecrafts are the Yaogan-31 triplets’ third party. The preceding two parties, deployed in April 2018 as well as January 2021, were put into orbits ranging about 1,100 by 1,050 kilometers with a 63.4-degree inclination. The spacecraft will be utilized for the “electromagnetic environment surveys as well as other similar technology studies,” according to Chinese media. According to Western defense experts, Yaogan (“remote sensing”) satellites are military observation satellites which are component of the People’s Liberation Army’s intelligence, surveillance, as well as reconnaissance systems.
Optical, synthetic aperture radar, as well as electronic intelligence payloads, are thought to be on board Yaogan satellites. The Yaogan-31 satellites have orbits that are similar to those of the United States Department of Defense’s Naval Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS) spacecrafts triplets. These satellites detect and triangulate radio signals to locate and monitor vessels.
The Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) supported the Long March 4C, whereas Dongfanghong Satellite Company, Ltd., a subsidiary of the China Academy of Space Technology, produced the satellites (CAST). SAST, as well as CAST, are significant affiliates of CASC, China’s largest space contractor and a large defense state-owned enterprise.
This was China’s fifth deployment in the year 2021. CASC plans to launch a minimum of 40 rockets this year and has been currently planning releases of a modern Long March 7A rocket from the Wenchang, following the setback of the rocket’s flight test last year. At coastal Wenchang launch center, the Long March 5B, which will launch China’s first space station unit, is also being assembled. China Rocket Company Limited, Expace, CAS Space, Galactic Energy, Deep Blue Aerospace, as well as Landspace are among the industrial Chinese launch providers preparing their own releases this year. With the second deployment of its Hyperbola-1 solid rocket in January, commercial firm iSpace ended in failure to reach orbit.
The Chinese space program’s principal contractor is the China Aerospace Science and Technology Company. It is a government-owned company that designs, produces, and manufactures a variety of satellites, deployment vehicles, strategic as well as tactical missile systems, and the ground equipment.https://zolalnews.com/