China’s Long March 3B rocket, used to power navigation and communications satellites into high-altitude orbits, launched for the first time in nearly five months Sunday with two spacecraft for the country’s Beidou positioning network.
The launch of three experimental remote sensing satellites last week signaled the resumption of Chinese space launches following multiple rocket failures since late last year, but a senior Chinese space official has confirmed the Chang’e 5 mission to return samples from the moon remains grounded.
A Chinese Long March 3B rocket fired into space Wednesday with Shijian 13, also known as Chinasat 16, to deliver Internet connectivity to remote parts of China, airline travelers and high-speed trains.
A new satellite bound for geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles over the equator launched aboard a Chinese Long March 3B rocket Thursday, but government officials have released little information about its mission.
The first satellite in an upgraded series of Chinese geostationary weather observatories lifted off on top of a Long March 3B rocket Saturday to demonstrate the performance of new spacecraft systems and instrumentation.
China sent a mobile communications satellite into orbit Friday on top of a Long March 3B rocket, marking the country’s 10th launch of 2016 as technicians gear up for the next flight of Chinese astronauts and other major missions later this year.
A Chinese Long March 3C rocket boosted a fresh satellite into orbit Sunday to join the country’s Beidou navigation system, deploying the craft into an elliptical orbit ranging more than 22,000 miles above Earth.