Following its first Long March-7A the previous week, China has launched a new series of triplet satellites for the Chuangxin-5 (CX-5) constellation. Commenced under the name Yaogan Weixing-30 Group-6, the three probes were orbited by a Long March-2C launch vehicle from the L3 Launch Complex of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
The take-off took place at 03:43 UTC, and similar to the earlier missions in the bunch, this operation once again ranked as involving new remote sensing birds that will be employed in ‘conducting electromagnetic probes and other experiments.’
Similar to the previous launches of the Yaogan Weixing batches, experts believe this group of satellites is utilized for military purposes, more specifically developing a high-revisit smallsat constellation for signal intelligence operations or imaging missions.
China is Not New to Satellite Launches
The first three satellites in the series were launched on September 29th of 2017, followed by another three probes on November 24th of 2017. The Yaogan Weixing-30 Group-3 was propelled on December 25th of the same year, followed by another batch of three satellites on January 25th of 2018. The prior group of probes launched today was sent to orbit on July 26th of 2019.
The launch of trio missions is not something new for China. There were a few other missions before, with three satellites launch on a single rocket in operations similar to the Naval Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS) controlled by the United States.
The Xichang Satellite Launch Center is located in the Sichuan Province, south-western China, and is the state’s launch facility for geosynchronous orbital take-offs. Geared with two launch pads, the center has a special railway and highway that lead straight to the launch site. The Command and Control Center is located seven kilometers (4 miles) south-west of the launch pad, offering flight and safety management during launch rehearsal and take off.
The first launch from Xichang took place on January 29th of 1994, when the Long March (Y1) was propelled into the atmosphere with the Shiyan Weixing communications satellite.