A new Chinese launch vehicle, the Long March 8, has successfully placed five payloads into orbit on its first mission, debuting an expendable booster intended to eventually be outfitted for recovery and reuse.
Three mysterious payloads widely believed to be signals intelligence satellites for the Chinese military rocketed into orbit on top of a Long March 2C booster Monday from a launch base in southwestern China.
China launched a Long March 4B rocket Saturday with a high-resolution mapping satellite for the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources and two smaller spacecraft designed for astronomical observations and data relay services.
Two solid-fueled Kuaizhou 1A rockets fired into orbit from the same spaceport in northern China Saturday, demonstrating a further advance in China’s aim for a quick-response, on-call satellite launch capability.
A solid-fueled small satellite launcher named Jielong 1 fired into orbit Saturday on its first flight from northwestern China, debuting a new rocket developed by a spinoff of China’s state-owned launch vehicle manufacturer using a “commercial business model.”