Long March-4B rocket Current Affairs - 2020

Gaofen 11: China launches high-resolution Earth observation satellite

China successfully launched Gaofen-11, an optical remote sensing satellite, as part of the country’s high-resolution Earth observation project. It was launched on board of Long March 4B rocket from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province. It was overall 282nd flight mission by Long March carrier rocket.

Key Facts

Gaofen-11 is sub-meter resolution optical satellite. It was developed by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). It is the sixth in Gaofen series launched this year, following triplet of Gaofen-1 satellites and larger Gaofen-5 and Gaofen-6, all placed in Sun-synchronous orbits.

It will become part of China High-resolution Earth Observation System (CHEOS)  initiated in 2010 to provide all-weather, all-day coverage by 2020 with optical and synthetic aperture radar satellites, and could also include airborne and near-space systems such as stratospheric balloons.

Gaofen-11 satellite will be used for land survey, urban planning, road network design, agriculture, and disaster relief. Its data will also be used for Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China had unveiled BRI in 2013 with aim to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Gulf region, Africa and Europe with network of land and sea routes.

Gaofen project

Gaofen means “high resolution” in Chinese. It is ambitious space project of China that aims to launch seven high-definition observation satellites before 2020. Gaofen-1 was the first satellite of the project series which was launched in April 2013. Presently, Gaofen-1 and Gaofen-2 satellites part of Gaofen project series are orbiting around the earth at low orbits around 600-700km. Since launch of Gaofen project, China has gained increasingly clearer view of planet.

China launches second Shijian-16 series satellite

China has successfully launched its second Shijian-16 series satellite for space research and experiments. The first Shijian-16 satellite was launched in October 2013.

The satellite was launched on board of Long March-4B rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Jiuquan, northwest China’s Gansu Province. It was the 231st by a Long March rocket.

Key Facts

  • The second Shijian-16 satellite will be used for space environment measurements and technology testing.
  • It will mainly probe the space environment, radiation and its effects and also record space physical environment parameters and conduct other related space experiments.

About Long March-4B rocket

  • Long March-4B rocket is s a Chinese orbital carrier rocket used to launch sun-synchronous orbiting meteorological satellites.
  • The carries was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology (SAST) and was first introduced in May 1999.
  • It is three stages rocket weighing 248470 kg and s 45.58 meters long and has diameter of 3.35 meters. It is capable to launch a 2800 kg satellite into low Earth orbit.