Chinese Xinhua news agency announced about successful launch of next Yaogan satellite today at 0524 local time (26 November 2015 21:24 UTC).
It is fourth satellite from Yaogan series, this time with number 29, launched in November (about previous You can read here). Again China informed about launch post factum and again Yaogan-29 was described as research and observation satellite. According to Xinhua:
“A Long March-4C rocket carrying the Yaogan-29 remote sensing satellite blasts off at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China’s Shanxi Province, on Nov. 27, 2015. The satellite will be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief.”
Satellite was launched from Taiyuan launch site in Shanxi Province in the north China. Yaogan satellites are concerned by western analysts as military imaging satellites. Since 2006, when first Yaogan was launched, 4 satellites from this series reached orbit. Yaogan was designed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) in cooperation with China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) as optic sensors designer. According some sources, Yaogan series is utilizing Phoenix Eye-2 platform and is designed for both optical and electronic reconnaissance. Jian Bing-5 4 (military codename for Yaogan-29) is heavy satellite with mass at 2700 kg and is equipped with two remote-controlled mobile solar arrays; possible, but not confirmed operational life is at least 4 years. Jian Bing-5 4 was injected yesterday on 615 km × 619 km, 97.8° orbit and will spent there rest of its operational life.
During this mission Long March 4C was utilized. This is generally improved Long march 4B launch vehicle with larger payload fairing. Rocket was designed and is manufactured by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. It consists three stages with total height at 54 meters. 4C version is equipped with longer fairing than previous versions at about 3.35 m. Payload for LEO missions is at 4200 kg and for GTO missions is at 1500 kg. First stage generates thrust at 2961.6 kN thanks to four YF-21C liquid fueled engines (N2O4/UDMH). Second stage is equipped with liquid fueled (N2O4/UDMH) engine YF-24C which is basically combination of central YF-22C (thrust at 742.04 kN) and four stabilizing YF-23C (with thrust per engine at 47.1 kN). Third stage is powered by one YF-40A engine, liquid fueled (N2O4/UDMH), with thrust at 100.85 kN. Total mass of the rocket is at 250,000 kg. Yaogan-29 mission was 219th flight of Long March family rocket.