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02:09 PM, December 29, 2016
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China Launches High-res Imaging Satellite Into Wrong Orbit
China Launches High-res Imaging Satellite

A pair of 0.5-meter high-resolution imaging satellites, SuperView-1 01 and SuperView-1 02 launched by China on Wednesday, are currently deemed to be problematic as the two main payloads did not reach their intended orbit.

Moreover, various flight sequence events did not match up with pre-launch predictions, Spaceflight101 reported Wednesday.

The mission’s goal was to send the duo of satellites into a Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) at an altitude of about 310 miles (500 kilometers). From this orbit, they were to acquire high-resolution imagery of the Earth for civilian purposes.

The SuperView-1 01 and SuperView-1 02 (also known as GaoJing-1 01 and GaoJing-1 02), are the first two out of four satellites of the first generation of the SuperView constellation. These satellites can also be used for military purposes.

They are both identical spacecraft, built by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). The satellites are based on the CAST3000B platform and are fitted with two deployable solar arrays.

China plans one more orbital launch before year’s end. On Dec. 30, a Long March 3B rocket will lift off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, carrying the TJS 2 communications satellite for China National Space Administration.

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