China continues to break records as they launch their 29th orbital mission of 2018 deploying the Haiyang-2B ocean observation satellite. The satellite was launched aboard a Long March 4B rocket late last night.
The Long March 4B carrying the 1,500-kilogram Haiyang-2B satellite lifted off from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre at 22:57 UTC (19:57 local time) on Wednesday, October 24. Following the launch, officials confirmed that the satellite had been successfully deployed into a Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 973 kilometres.
The Haiyang-2B satellite will collect a range of marine data including winds speans, ocean levels and sea surface temperature. In order to achieve this, the satellite carries a number of scientific payloads including a Doppler orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS), a radar altimeter, a microwave radiometer, a laser reflector array, and a scatterometer. The satellite is expected to remain operational for five years.
This is the second satellite of the Haiyang-2 series to be launched. The first was launched in 2011 with the Haiyang-2B set to take over its duties once it becomes operational. An additional two Haiyang-2 satellites are expected to be launched by 2020.