Three Earth imaging satellites were successfully deployed into orbit at an altitude of around 500 kilometres. The three satellite, Jilin 1-04, Jilin 1-05 and Jilin 1-06 are designed to record high-definition video and colour imagery.
The 29-meter (95-foot) Long March 6 rocked with the three imaging satellites aboard launched on Tuesday at 04:50 GMT (Monday 23:50 EST) from Pad 16 at the Taiyuan Space Centre in northeastern China’s Shanxi province. The three-stage rocket deployed the Jilin satellites into a polar orbit at an altitude of 540 kilometres (325 miles).
The three new Jilin satellites add to a constellation of five owned and maintained by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd. The company, a commercial offshoot of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, hopes to build and launch a constellation of around 60 satellites by 2020. The constellation will provide near-global coverage with access to imaging of anywhere in the world within 10 minutes.
According to China Daily, with Jilin 1-04, Jilin 1-05 and Jilin 1-06 operational, Chang Guang will be able to reduce revisit time from three days to just one day.
Image Credit: Xinhua