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China Launches 2 Rockets Within 3 Hours in Latest Space Rally (Videos)

A Chinese Long March 6 rocket launched five satellites into orbit on the Ningxia-1 mission Wednesday (Nov. 13), just three hours after another launch in a double header that comes amid busy two months for China's space industry.

China has launched a series of Long March rockets and the new Kuaizhou-1A booster have made seven launches in recent weeks, and Space.com has some cool videos showing off each one. Here's what they've launched in that time:

Nov. 13 at 1:35 a.m. EST (0635 GMT): A Long March 6 launches Ningxia-1 (see the video above) – This orbital launch lofted five remote sensing satellites into orbit from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, Shanxi Province. This mission was the first time that the Long March-6 launched to a low-inclination orbit, according to NASASpaceflight.com (opens in new tab)

Related: Latest News About China's Space Program (opens in new tab)
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Rocket Launches of 2019 (opens in new tab)

 Kuaizhou-1A lofts Jilin-1 Gaofen 02A 

Nov. 12 at 10:40 p.m. EST (0340 GMT on Nov. 13): Kuaizhou-1A launches Jilin-1 Gaofen 02A – Just three hours before a Long March rocket launched Ningxia-1, Chinese commercial launch company ExPace launched a small satellite called Jilin-1 Gaofen 02A from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centrer in the Gobi desert. The satellite will perform remote sensing for civilian purposes, according to SpaceTechAsia.com (opens in new tab).

Long March 3B launches Beidou navsat

 Nov. 5 at 12:43 p.m. EDT (1743 GMT): Long March 3B launches 49th Beidou navigation satellite – This satellite soared into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province. It's part of a network of navigation satellites similar to GPS in the United States. China plans to launch six more BDS-3 satellites to finish the network, according to Xinhua (opens in new tab)

  Long March 4B launches Gaofen-7 

Nov. 2 at 11:22 p.m. EDT (0322 GMT on Nov. 3): Long March 4B launches Gaofen-7 – Gaofen-7 launched from Taiyuan. The Earth observation satellite is able to capture high-definition images to help with activities such as construction and land surveying, according to Satellite Today (opens in new tab). Gaofen-7 is the first satellite of its type that can resolve objects of less than 1 meter (3 feet) in diameter, the website added. 

 Long March 3B launches TJSW-4

 Oct. 17 at 11:21 a.m. EDT (1521 GMT): Long March 3B launches TJSW-4 – There is little information available about this launch. TJSW-4 is the fourth in a series of communications engineering test satellites, which the Chinese government has said are supposed to perform tests in the Ka-band of broadband communication (between frequencies between 27 and 40 Ghz), according to NASASpaceFlight.com (opens in new tab).

Two Launches in September

Another launch twofer! 

On Sept. 22 at 5:10 p.m. EDT (2110 GMT): Long March 3B launches 2 Beidou navigation satellites and (2) Sept. 24 @ 8:54 p.m. EDT (0054 GMT on Sept. 25): Long March 2D launches Yunhai-1 02 – In this video showing two launches within a few days of each other, you can see more Beidou navigation satellites lifting off from Xichang, and the launch of a meteorological satellite called Yunhai-1 02 two days later, from Jiuquan.

 

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Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she tackles topics like spaceflight, diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc (opens in new tab). in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Her latest book, NASA Leadership Moments, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.