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Science satellite returns to Earth

The experimental science satellite that China had recently put into orbit on November 3 returned to Earth and landed in southwestern Sichuan Province at 10:04 am yesterday. The satellite began its re-entry after it was ordered to “maneuver for returning” by a control station of the Xi’an Satellite Monitor and Control Center at 9:42 am.

Experts with the recovery team said the re-entry module of the satellite was found to be in good shape after landing on Earth. The satellite responded to more than 1,000 remote instructions from the center while in orbit. The experts said the satellite is the 18th recoverable satellite China has developed.

All but one of the satellites have been recovered, a high recovery rate by international standards. The China-made satellite was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province. The satellite is mainly for scientific research, land surveying, mapping and other scientific experiments. The November 3 launch came less than a month after China’s first manned space flight on October 15-16.