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China's Kuaizhou-1A Rocket Successfully Launches Three Satellites In Space

First Posted: Jan 10, 2017 03:05 AM EST
China Launches Shenzhou X
Kuaizhou-1A successfully launched for its first commercial mission carrying three small satellites on Monday Beijing Time. (Image for representation only. Please see the actual launching of Kuaizhou-1A below.)
(Photo : VCG/VCG/Getty Images)

China's Kuaizhou-1A (KZ-1A) rocketed into space from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 12:11 p.m., Monday Beijing Time. It sent three small satellites that include satellite JL-1 and two CubeSats XY-S1 and Caton-1 in space.

JL-1 satellite, also referred to as Linggiao 3, is a multifunctional remote-sensing satellite that provides high-definition video images. This could be used for land resource and forestry surveying, transport and disaster prevention and relief purposes and environmental protection. Meanwhile, the XY-S1 and Caton-1 are satellites for testing technologies of low-orbit narrow-band communication and VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) respectively, according to China.org.

The satellites will also aid in employing a security monitoring system for navigation at sea. Kuaizhou means "speedy vessel." It composed of three solid-fueled rocket stages that have a liquid-fueled fourth stage as part of the satellite system.

Meanwhile, the Kuaizhou-1A is a high reliability and low-cost solid launch vehicle. It is developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASIC). Likewise, it is commercialized by the China Space Sanjiang Group Corporation (EXPAGE), according to NASA SpaceFlight.

The vehicle can launch a 200-kg payload into a 700-km Sun-synchronous orbit. It could be used for multiple payloads. Its launch vehicle is about 20 meters in length with the lift-off mass of 30 tons. It also has a maximum diameter of about 1.4 meters. Its power is supported by one liquid motor and three solid motors.

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