China has launched their twenty-second orbital mission of 2018 just 48 hours after the launch of the twenty-first. The launch successful deployed the Gaofen-11, an optical remote sensing satellite into a Sun-synchronous orbit.
The Long March 4B rocket carrying the Gaofen-11 was launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province at 03:00 UTC (11:00 local time) this morning. The launch was the first aboard a Long March 4B for over a year with the last deploying the HXMT, ÑuSat-3 and Zhuhai-1 satellites on June 15, 2017.
Data collected by Gaofen-11 satellite will be used for urban planning, disaster relief, road network design and agricultural management. It will also be used for the Belt and Road Initiative. The initiative seeks to create both economic and physical connections between Eurasian countries, the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the ocean-going Maritime Silk Road.
Just 48 hours before the launch of the Gaofen-11, China launched a Long March 3B from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The launch carried two BeiDou-3 satellites adding to the country’s BeiDou navigation network fleet.