China Launch Gaofen-5 Earth Observation Satellite

China’s Gaofen-5 Earth observation satellite has been successfully launched into orbit aboard a Long March 4C rocket. The launch was China’s 14th successful mission of 2018, a staggering achievement.

The Long March 4C launched at 18:28 UTC on 8 May (02:28 local time on 9 May) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province in northern China. Following a successful launch, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) confirmed that the satellite had entered its 98-degree Sun-synchronous orbit and was operating nominally.

Once operational, the Gaofen-5 satellite will form part of the China High-resolution Earth Observation System (CHEOS) fleet. CHEOS is a network of multi-spectrum imaging and synthetic aperture radar satellites.

The launch was China’s second addition to the CHEOS fleet this year with three Gaofen-1 satellites launched in late March. The Gaofen-6 satellite is expected to be launched later this year

A second Long March 4C launch is scheduled for later this month. The launch will deploy the Queqiao Chang’e-4 lunar relay satellite in preparation for the country’s Chang’e-4 lunar lander mission. The recently named satellite will be vital to ensure that operators on Earth can communicate with the lander on the far side of the moon.

Image Credit: CASC

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.