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China Launches 41 Satellites In Single Mission, Setting New Record




China Launches 41 Satellites Into Space In Single Mission, Setting New Record

A Long March rocket lifting one of the satellites in China. (File Photo)

China on Thursday launched the Long March 2D rocket on Thursday with 41 satellites, setting a new national record for sending the most satellites in space in a single mission, according to a report in Xinhua. The rocket blasted off at 1.30pm (local time) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi province, the Chinese news agency further said. It comes weeks after China launched a three-person crew for its orbiting space station, with an aim to out astronauts on the Moon before the end of the decade.

It was the 476th flight mission of the Long March rocket series.

The satellites will mainly provide commercial remote sensing services and related technology verification. A majority of these satellites – 36 – belong to the Jilin-1 series, China’s first self-developed commercial remote sensing satellite system.

After Thursday’s launch, the number of Jilin-1 satellites has gone up to 108, assembling China’s first commercial constellation of more than 100 remote sensing satellites, as per the Xinhua report.

China launched the first Jilin-1 satellite in 2015, which weighed 420 kilograms. But in the last eight years, the country claims to have reduced the weight to just 22 kilograms.

China’s rapid advances in the space sector has led to an extra-terrestrial contest with the western nations, especially the United States. A Bloomberg report said earlier this month that the US Space Force is set to launch its own constellation of satellites to track Chinese or Russian space vehicles that can potentially disable or damage orbiting objects.

Codenamed ‘Silent Barker’, the project will see satellites being be placed about 22,000 miles (35,400 kilometers) above the Earth and at the same speed it rotates, known as geosynchronous orbit, as per the Bloomberg report.

China is also working towards building relay satellites that by 2030 will act as a communication bridge between missions to the moon and beyond, and ground operations on Earth. China aims to land astronauts on the moon by 2030.

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