China sent a pair of commercial remote sensing satellites into orbit with its 24th orbital launch of 2022.
A Long March 2C rocket lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China at 6:67 p.m. EDT on July 15 (2257 GMT, or 6:57 a.m. Beijing Time on July 16).
SuperView Neo 2 (01) and (02) were sent into near-polar orbits. The pair are the first synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites for China Siwei Surveying and Mapping Technology Co. Ltd. (China Siwei), a satellite imagery and data services company, according to Nasaspaceflight.com (opens in new tab).
The new satellites will provide commercial remote sensing services for sectors such as land resources investigation, natural disaster monitoring, urban planning and safety, according to Chinese state media Xinhua (opens in new tab).
The satellites were designed and developed by DFH Satellite Co., Ltd. of China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), which belongs to China’s main state-owned space contractor, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
The Long March 2C was designed and manufactured by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), also owned by CASC.
China has now launched 24 missions so far this year, including one failure (opens in new tab)by commercial launch firm iSpace. CASC is planning more than 50 flights overall in 2022, including completing its Tiangong space station.
Andrew is a freelance space journalist with a focus on reporting on China’s rapidly growing space sector. He began writing for Space.com in 2019 and writes for SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, New Scientist and others. Andrew first caught the space bug when, as a youngster, he saw Voyager images of other worlds in our solar system for the first time. Away from space, Andrew enjoys trail running in the forests of Finland. You can follow him on Twitter @AJ_FI (opens in new tab).