China has despatched a brand new Earth-observing satellite into space.
A Long March 2D rocket carrying the Yunhai-1 03 satellite lifted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center within the Gobi Desert on Tuesday (Sept. 20) at 7:15 p.m. EDT (2315 GMT; 7:15 a.m. native time on Wednesday, Sept. 21).
Chinese state media stated the satellite will be used (opens in new tab) for “detecting the atmospheric, marine and space environments, disaster prevention and mitigation, and scientific experiments.” Not a lot else is understood concerning the Yunhai-1 collection of spacecraft.
Related: China National Space Administration: Facts & information
Yunhai-1 03’s predecessor, Yunhai-1 02, launched in September 2019 and was apparently whacked by a bit of space junk in March 2021. The cause of the collision has been traced to a small piece of a Zenit-2 Russian rocket physique.
Yunhai 1-02 seems to nonetheless be able to adjusting its orbit regardless of the crash, which occurred at an altitude of 485 miles (780 kilometers), space junk expert Jonathan McDowell said in August 2021 (opens in new tab).
McDowell also said (opens in new tab) the incident was the primary main confirmed orbital collision since February 2009. Back then, a defunct Russian army spacecraft, Kosmos-2251, collided with an operational communications satellite referred to as Iridium 33, creating 1,800 pieces of trackable debris (opens in new tab) by the next October.
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