Skip to main content

Two Satellites Placed in Orbit by Chinese Rocket

Long March 2D Rocket Launch on Sept. 4, 2014
China launched a Long March 2D rocket on Sept. 4, 2014, from Jiuquan space center in northwest China.
(Image: © Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China)

China launched a Long March 2D rocket Thursday (Sept. 4) with a data relay satellite and a payload to conduct multimedia telecommunications experiments, according to state media reports.

The 13-story launcher lifted off from the Jiuquan space center in northwest China at 0015 GMT Thursday (8:15 p.m. EDT Wednesday), the official Xinhua news agency said.

The liftoff occurred at 8:15 a.m. Beijing time.

China launched a Long March 2D rocket on Sept. 4, 2014, from Jiuquan space center in northwest China. (Image credit: Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China)

The two-stage, hydrazine-fueled Long March 2D was expected to place the Chuangxin 1-04 data relay satellite and its co-passenger into a sun-synchronous orbit. Chinese state media reported the launch was successful. [China in Space: Latest News]

"The two satellites have reached their preset orbits via the Long March 2D vehicle," Xinhua reported.

Developed by the China Academy of Sciences, Chuangxin 1-04 is a small satellite designed to gather and transmit data for disaster relief and economic development applications. The craft's mission includes collecting hydrological, meteorological and electric power data, Xinhua reported.

It follows similar Chuangxin relay satellites launched in 2003, 2008 and 2011.

The rocket also put a small experimental spacecraft into orbit for a joint mission managed by Tsinghua University and Beijing Xinwei Telecom Technology Co. Ltd., a Chinese telecom operator.

Xinhua described the payload as a "smart satellite" to conduct multimedia telecommunications experiments. Xinwei says the spacecraft is the company's first step in exploring the construction of a satellite communications network.

Thursday's Long March rocket flight marked the 51st space launch to reach orbit this year and the fourth for China.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1Copyright 2014 SpaceflightNow.com, all rights reserved.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.