China’s Long March 2D rocket launches Earth observation satellite

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China yesterday used its Long March 2D rocket to successfully launch an Earth observation satellite plus two smallsats into orbit.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

20 China
13 SpaceX
9 Russia

The U.S. still leads China 21 to 20 in the national rankings.


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  • LocalFluff

    Wiki tells me that the previous 2D launched as late as August 6th. With 3½ tons to LEO it has about half the payload capacity of a Soyuz launcher. So a bit too small for launching traditional sats to GEO, but good for Earth observation sats in low polar orbit.

  • wayne

    So, is “Earth observation satellite” chinese-communist double-speak, for surveillance-satellite?

  • LocalFluff

    They might have good reasons to take a look at the catastrophic floods in recent weeks that made some their damns burst, and other damns tremble. After having lost most of their crops, and previously most of their pigs in a disease (China is the by far largest pork producer in the world), they are probably also interested in watching what’s left of their agricultural sector. Even in the best of seasons China is dependent on food imports.

    What defeated Germany in ww1? Oh yeah, food shortages.

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