China: China launched its 15th space mission of China in 2017 on Sunday – a land exploration-satellite into a preset orbit – designed for remote sensing exploration of land resources. The satellite was launched on a Long March-2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China’s northern Gobi Desert at 12:11 PM (local time), Xinhua news agency reported.
The satellite is mainly used for remote sensing exploration of land resources, the report said. Today’s launch was the 257th mission of the Long March rocket series. China on November 25 had successfully launched remote sensing satellites designed to conduct electromagnetic probes and other experiments.
The satellites were launched on a Long March-2C rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwestern Sichuan province.
The satellite was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), which researches, development, and manufactures satellites and spacecraft and is a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the main contractor for the Chinese space program.
The country was aiming to launch around 30 times this year, but two launch issues in June and July – most notably the failure of the new Long March 5 heavy-lift rocket – brought a halt to all launches for 89 days.
CASC, which is responsible for both government and international contracts and also a share of domestic commercial launches, is working to ease the pressure off a large, backed-up launch schedule.