CZ-7 launch drill under way at Hainan

CZ-7 drill rocketAn all-system drill simulating the launch of a Chang Zheng-7 (CZ-7, or Long March-7) rocket is currently under way at the newly-built Hainan launch centre. Photos circulating on the Chinese social media show a non-flying CZ-7 drill rocket identical to that used in a real launch standing on the mobile launcher platform (MLP) at Hainan.

Feng Yun 2G launched by CZ-3A from Xichang

CZ3-FY2GOn 31 December 2014, a Chang Zheng-3A (CZ-3A) rocket launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in central China placed the Feng Yun 2G meteorology satellite into orbit, making the 16th and final Chinese space launch in 2014. The three-stage CZ-3A lifted off from the Launch Complex 2 in Xichang at 09:02 Beijing Time (01:02 GMT). The satellite was initially placed into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), where it will use its own apogee kick motor (AKM) to move to its position in the Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO).

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 640,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 27 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Yaogan Weixing 26 launched atop CZ-4B from Taiyuan

YG26A military reconnaissance satellite named Yaogan Weixing 26 was launched atop a Chang Zheng-4B (CZ-4B) launch vehicle on Saturday 27 December. The rocket carrying the satellite lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre at 11:22 Beijing Time (03:22 GMT). This is the 26h mission of the Yaogan Weixing family, and the 7th Yaogan Weixing in 2014.

Three-satellite constellation launched from Jiuquan

yaogan25A constellation of three reconnaissance satellites, collectively known as Yaogan Weixing 25, has been successfully launched atop a single Chang Zheng-4C launcher from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Site at 15:33 Beijing Time (07:33 GMT) on 11 December 2014.

China plans mission to Mars by 2020

China plans to send a probe to orbit Mars and land a rover on Mars surface in a single mission around 2020. In an interview with Xinhua News Agency, Lei Fanpei, Chairman of the China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation (CASC) consortium, confirmed that the initial evaluation of China’s first independent Mars mission had already been completed.

CBERS-4 remote-sensing satellite successfully launched

CBERS4-CZ4B_20141207aChina has successfully launched a remote-sensing satellite named CBERS-4 on Sunday 7 December. The Chang Zheng-4B (CZ-4B) rocket carrying the satellite lifted off from Launch Complex 9 of the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre (TSLC) on at 11:26 Beijing Time (03:26 GMT). The mission also marked the 200th flight of the Chinese Chang Zheng (Long March) series launch vehicle.

Two launches from Jiuquan within 24 hours

A new record in the history of Chinese satellite launches has been achieved on 21 November 2014, with two launches conducted within 24 hours from the same launch centre.

On 20 November 2014, at 15:12 Beijing Time (07:12 GMT), a Chang Zheng-2D (CZ-2D) rocket carrying the Yaogan 24 reconnaissance satellite lifted off from Pad 603 (SLS-2) of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre (JSLC).

China to recruit engineers and doctors into the astronaut corps

shenzhou9_01Huang Weifen, Deputy Chief Engineer of the Astronaut Centre of China (ACC), revealed that China would start recruiting the third group of astronauts within the next two years to support its space station programme.

In her speech for the 27th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers, which is being held in Beijing between 10th and 15th of September, Huang told the congress delegates that the source for future Chinese astronauts would expand from military pilots to include space engineers and medical professionals.

Two Chinese space launches in five days

20140908China has conducted two space launches within a time span of five days, placing four satellites into orbit.

On Thursday 4 September, a Chang Zheng-2D (CZ-2D) rocket blasted off from Pad 603 of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre (JSLC) at 08:15 local time (00:15 GMT). The main cargo of the rocket was the Chuang Xin 1-04 (CX-1-04) communications satellite developed by China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation. On its piggyback was the Ling Qiao experimental communications satellite developed by Tsinghua University.

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