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  • Writer's picturesatyavrat singh

China launches mysterious Earth observation satellites

This is the 53rd rocket launch by China in 2022, leaving it just three shy of tying the national mark set in 2021.

On Wednesday, China launched a new batch of Gaofen Earth monitoring satellites into orbit (Nov. 16).

At 2:20 a.m. EST (0720 GMT; 2:20 p.m. local time) on Wednesday, a Ceres-1 rocket carrying four Gaofen 03D satellites lifted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. State-run media source Xinhua announced that the satellites successfully deployed.

This is Ceres-1's fourth flight, according to Xinhua, which also noted that the payloads hoisted by the rocket will be used to deliver commercial remote sensing services. Ceres-1 is made in Beijing by the government-backed Galactic Energy.

Unlike in the United States or the majority of other countries, space enterprises in China are often not autonomous businesses. Instead, they frequently represent the Chinese government's and the China National Space Administration's offspring.

The China High-resolution Earth Observation System, which intends to take high-resolution pictures of the surface of our planet, includes the Gaofen series. However, it's still unclear exactly what the Gaofen satellites are used for.

With its 53rd launch of 2022 on Wednesday, China is just three launches away from tying its 56-launch record from 2021. The nation generally operates independently of the rest of the world's space community, though NASA Administrator Bill Nelson recently stated that cooperation with China is "up to China." The U.S. government places restrictions on NASA's ability to enter into bilateral agreements with China.

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Edited by: Satyavrat Singh

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