Thursday, September 23, 2010

Launch Notification: YAOGAN 11, ZHEDA PIXING 1B, ZHEDA PIXING 1C

Courtesy of AGI's Launch Notification e-mails. AGI's E-mails are sent after every launch and include key spacecraft information such as: the date, time, launch site, launcher, international number, name, and owner. Get more information on thousands of satellites and other vehicles by viewing STK models, animations, and our encyclopedic "Spacecraft Digest" database at

New Launch: 2010 September 22, 0242 UTC
Site: Jiuquan Space Center, PRC
Launcher: Long March 2D (Chang Zheng 2D)
International Designator(s): 2010-047A, 2010-047B, 2010-047C

SSC Name Owner
37165 YAOGAN 11 PRC

"A secret military payload successfully launched aboard a Long March rocket early Wednesday, continuing a feverish pace of Chinese space activity that includes a mysterious orbital rendezvous, an upcoming lunar probe and preps for continued human missions.

"It was the fifth launch in barely 50 days for China, and the second mission in that period lofting a clandestine Yaogan reconnaissance satellite.

"Wednesday's launch began with the blastoff of a Long March 2D rocket at 0242 GMT (10:42 p.m. EDT Tuesday) from the Jiuquan space center in the desert of northwestern China, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

"It was 10:42 a.m. Beijing time.

"The 135-foot-tall [41-m-tall] launch vehicle placed Yaogan 11 and two smaller satellites on a path nearly 400 miles [644 km] above Earth.

"The Yaogan 11 payload orbited Wednesday will conduct scientific experiments, survey land resources, estimate crop yields and contribute to natural disaster response efforts, Xinhua reported.

"But the Yaogan satellite series are believed to provide the Chinese military with high-resolution reconnaissance imagery through electro-optical cameras and night-vision radar systems."

Source: Spaceflight Now, "China orbits spy satellite amid uptick in space activity"