Tag Archives: Long March 2D

China launches military surveillance satellite

China today successfully launched a military surveillance satellite using its Long March 2D rocket, designed to put smaller payloads in low Earth orbit.

I think the 2D would compare nicely with India’s PSLV rocket.

The leaders in the 2018 launch standings:

8 China
5 SpaceX
3 Japan
2 Russia
2 Europe

The U.S. and China are presently tied at 8. Note also that I am now counting Rocket Lab as a New Zealand rocket, not an American one.


Chinese rocket fails to put two satellites into correct orbits

Tracking data suggests that two Earth-observation satellites launched today by China’s Long March 2D rocket were placed in the wrong orbits.

The two SuperView 1, or Gaojing 1, satellites are flying in egg-shaped orbits ranging from 133 miles (214 kilometers) to 325 miles (524 kilometers) in altitude at an inclination of 97.6 degrees. The satellites would likely re-enter Earth’s atmosphere within months in such a low orbit, and it was unclear late Wednesday whether the craft had enough propellant to raise their altitudes.

The high-resolution Earth-observing platforms were supposed to go into a near-circular orbit around 300 miles (500 kilometers) above the planet to begin their eight-year missions collecting imagery for Siwei Star Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., a government-owned entity.