Watch Chinese company launch 4 satellites to orbit from ship at sea (video)

A Chinese commercial launch company sent four satellites into orbit on Wednesday (May 29) with the second sea launch of the Ceres-1 solid rocket.

The Ceres-1 lifted off Wednesday at 4:12 a.m. EDT (0812 GMT; 4:12 p.m. Beijing time) from a sea platform off the coast of China's eastern province of Shandong.

Aboard were the Tianqi 25-28 satellites, part of a planned constellation of Internet of Things (Iot) data connectivity satellites for Beijing-based company Guodian Gaoke. The satellites were sent into a low Earth orbit with an altitude of 528 miles (850 kilometers), Galactic Energy said in a statement.

Related: China's record-breaking Gravity-1 rocket aces amazing debut launch from ship at sea (video)

Galactic Energy's Ceres-1 solid rocket launches four satellites to orbit from an ocean-based platform on May 29, 2024.  (Image credit: CCTV)

The launch was the 12th to date for the four-stage Ceres-1 and its second from a sea platform. Galactic Energy gave the mission the codename “Beautiful World,” with sponsorship from social media platform Sina Weibo. China built sea launch capabilities at Haiyang in Shandong to provide another, flexible option for space launches. 

Galactic Energy is one of a number of commercial launch companies in China. It is planning four further Ceres-1 sea launches this year, according to Chinese media. It will also conduct land-based launches of Ceres-1. The firm aims to launch its first liquid-propellant rocket, called Pallas-1, later this year as well. Galactic Energy plans to make the Pallas-1's first stage reusable. 

Wednesday's launch was China's 25th orbital mission of 2024. China's main space contractor said early this year that the country is planning around 100 launches across 2024, including about 30 commercial missions. 

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Andrew Jones
Contributing Writer

Andrew is a freelance space journalist with a focus on reporting on China's rapidly growing space sector. He began writing for in 2019 and writes for SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, New Scientist and others. Andrew first caught the space bug when, as a youngster, he saw Voyager images of other worlds in our solar system for the first time. Away from space, Andrew enjoys trail running in the forests of Finland. You can follow him on Twitter @AJ_FI.