Chinese company's rocket launches 3 satellites into orbit

That's three for three for a Chinese rocket company.

Galactic Energy of China sent a Ceres-1 solid rocket into orbit Tuesday (Aug. 9) from the Jiaquan Satellite Launch Center, according to social media posts.

Chinese state media confirmed the successful rocket launch at 12:11 a.m. EDT (0411 GMT or 12:11 p.m. local time), which is the third successful launch for Galactic Energy. "Galactic Energy launched the Ceres-1 carrier rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on 12:11pm Tue, successfully placing three commercial satellites into a solar synchronous orbit of 500 km [310 miles]," the Global Times stated on Twitter.

Related: China launches carbon and ecosystem monitoring satellite

On board were two Taijing-1 satellites and a Donghai-1 satellite; China has not released details about the future tasks of these three small machines.

Galactic Energy is one of a large set of Chinese companies seeking to conduct operations in Earth orbit. Notable examples include iSpace, which is planning new launches of its Hyperbola 1 and Hyperbola 2 rockets, and Landspace, which is preparing to launch its Zhuque 2 rocket in the coming months.

Galactic Energy's Ceres-1 rocket made its first launch on Nov. 7, 2020. (Image credit: Feature China/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Other Chinese companies working in space include Orienspace, Deep Blue Aerospace, Space Pioneer, Space Transportation and Linkspace. These various firms are vying for commercial contracts from state-owned companies, like Expace, CAS Space and China Rocket.

Meanwhile, the China National Space Administration operates a series of rockets known as Long March. The most recent launch, a Long March 5B, saw 25 tons of debris crash to Earth in the Pacific Ocean following a successful deployment of a part of the under-construction Tiangong space station currently hosting three taikonauts.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: