China in the early morning of Tuesday, April 10, 2018, without any prior notice lifted off the Yaogan Weixing -31-01 mission from its Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. It includes three surveyance spacecraft and an unnamed nanosatellite. The satellites were lifted off from the launch pad 94 of LC43 launch complex employing the Long March 4C(Y25) rocket. Tuesday’s launch was the number 11th liftoff by China, this year, who is aiming to put about 40 crafts in orbit this year.
As per the media reports, the latest satellites will be utilized for electromagnetic surveys of the environment and also for other corresponding technology tests. Particulars about the latest mission & the pre sendoff arrangements were done in a hush manner by China. Even no NOTAM (Notice to airmen) has been released by Beijing about the launch.
In spite of the prohibition to release any information about the launch, assumptions are made that the takeoff lasted for around 15 minutes closing with the craft’s separation. These presumptions are made assuming that the spacecraft is put into a low earth orbit (LEO) by the Long March Rocket. Mission’s success was confirmed by the state-operated news agency Xinhua Press Agency after about one hour.
The designation given to the Yaogan Weixing series is primarily utilized to keep hidden the true nature of the crafts. This project, in particular, is very much the same like the previous Yaogan – 9, 17, 30 16, 20 & 31, which were launched in 2010, 2012, 2013 & 2014 in triplets. These satellites are gliding in a configuration like a sort of NOSS system, which is considered to be the Jianbing -8 military series.
The crafts were fabricated to locate & track foreign warships. It will gather the radio electronic & optical signatures of the naval vessels and will use it in conjunction with other information precious for the Chinese naval Forces. No information is available about the other microsatellite which was launched simultaneously.
This sendoff was said to be the 271st launch of the Long March Launch Pad Vehicle family. China’s last launch (March 31) was also done with the Long March 4C rocket, which is positioned into orbit 3 Gaofen Earth-imaging satellites. The Chinese space agency quoted that few of the members of the Long March 4C launch team will now travel to the other space center located in Southwestern China for the preparation of the launch of the Chang’e 4 lunar rover.