While the United States was focused last week on its first domestic flight of astronauts to orbit in 9 years, China was busy with a pair of launches that placed four satellites into space.
A Long March 11 booster launched the Xinjishu Shiyan-G and Xinjishu Shiyan-H technology test satellites from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Friday, May 29.
The Xinjishu Shiyan-G satellite was developed by the Shanghai Institute of Microsatellite Innovation, which is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The National University of Defence Technology developed the Xinjishu Shiyan-H satellite.
The satellites will test new Earth observation technology and inter-satellite communications.
On Sunday, a Long March 2D rocket launched the Gaofen-9 (02) remote sensing satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia.
The microwave spacecraft is the latest in a series of high-definition Earth observation satellites. Gaofen-9 (02) will be used for a variety of civilian purposes ranging from land use and urban planning to crop estimation and disaster prevention.
The Long March 2D booster carried the HEAD-4 technology and communications satellite as a secondary payload. The spacecraft is owned by HEAD Aerospace Tech Co. Ltd. of Beijing.