A Chinese Kuaizhou-1A rocket launched two Internet of Things (IoT) communications satellites into Earth orbit on Tuesday.
The rocket lifted off with the Xingyun-2 01 and 02 satellites from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 9:16 a.m. Beijing time.
The spacecraft, developed by the Xingyun Satellite Co., will test IoT applications and inter-satellite laser communications while in orbit.
Kuaizhou-1A is a low-cost, solid-fuel rocket used to launch small satellites weighing up to 300 kg (661 lb). It was developed by ExPace, a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC).
Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we present the following excerpt concerning senior Chinese government officials with aerospace and technical backgrounds. [Full Report]
Confused by the acronyms in the table below? Parabolic Arc has added descriptions of the listed ministries and companies.
Many officials with backgrounds in the state defense complex have moved to senior government positions. While not all of these officials have backgrounds in space specifically, the result of these moves has been that senior Chinese political leaders often have a stronger technical understanding of the space sector than their foreign counterparts (see Addendum I listing key Chinese officials with aerospace sector backgrounds).
China launched two Kuaizhou-1A (KZ-1A) rockets with a total of seven satellites aboard within six hours of each other from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center on Saturday.
The first rocket placed the Jilin-1 Gaofen 02B remote sensing satellite into orbit. Plans call for an initial constellation of 60 Jilin satellites in order, with the number growing to 138 by 2030.
The second launch carried six satellites:
HEAD-2A and HEAD-2B — The first two satellites in the Skywalker Constellation, which is designed to provide environmental monitoring, emergency communications, and material supervision for ships and aircraft. The satellites belong to the HEAD Aerospace Technology Co. of Beijing.
Spacety-16 and Spacety-17 — The medium-resolution remote sensing satellites will provide agricultural, disaster, maritime and polar equipment monitoring services. They were developed by the Changsha Tianyi Space Science and Technology Research Institute Co. for Spacety Co.
Tianqi-4A and Tianqi-4B — The Internet of Things satellites will provide data transmission, emergency communications and material tracking. The spacecraft are operated by Guodian Gaoke.
Launches of the solid-fuel KZ-1A booster are managed by Expace, which is a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation. The rocket is used to launch small satellites.
Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we examine China’s growing commercial space industry. [Full Report]
by Douglas Messier Managing Editor
China is using aggressive state-backed financing to capture increasing shares of the commercial launch and satellite markets, making it more difficult for American companies to compete and threatening to hollow out the U.S. industrial base.
China is also leverage “military-civil” fusion to create a burgeoning commercial space sector by providing substantial state support. Nearly 90 new space companies have been created since 2014, most of which enjoy the support of the Chinese military, defense industrial base, or state-owned research and development institutions.
China launched its second Kuaizhou-1A booster in four days on Sunday, orbiting a pair of commercial Ka-band satellites.
The launch of the KL-a-A and KL-a-B satellites took place from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 6 p.m. Beijing time.
The Xinhua news agency described the payloads as “global multimedia satellites” designed to test Ka-band communication technology. The Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Innovation Academy for Microsatellites built the spacecraft, which will be used by an unidentified German company.
Kuaizhou-1A is a four-stage solid fuel booster developed by a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation. The rocket is designed to launch micro-satellites on short notice.
The year 2018 was the busiest one for launches in decades. There were a total of 111 completely successful launches out of 114 attempts. It was the highest total since 1990, when 124 launches were conducted.
China set a new record for launches in 2018. The nation launched 39 times with 38 successes in a year that saw a private Chinese company fail in the country’s first ever orbital launch attempt.
China’s Kuaizhou-1A light launcher orbited two small satellites from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Friday in a successful commercial mission.
The solid-fuel booster launched DFH Satellite Company’s KX-09 microgravity experimental satellite and SpaceTY’s Xiaoxiang 1-07 CubeSat.
The Kuaizhou-1A booster is manufactured and launches are managed by Expace, which is a subsidiary of the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).
CASIS said it is planning to launch Kuaizhou-1A eight or nine more times before the end of the year. This was the booster’s first launch of 2019.
It was the fifth successful flight in five attempts for the solid-fuel Kuaizhou family of boosters, and the third success for the upgraded Kuaizhou-1A variant. The booster can place payloads weighing up to 200 kg (441 lbs) in 700 km (435 mile) high sun synchronous orbits.