China successfully places Shiyan-20C satellite into orbit

The China Aerospace Science Corporation (CASC) successfully launched the classified Shiyan-20C satellite to low Earth orbit. Launched from Site 9401 (SLS-2) at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China, the Chang Zheng 2D lifted off at 9:01 AM local time (01:01 UTC) on Oct. 29. Shiyan-20C marked the 147th orbital launch attempt in 2022 worldwide. While no official records are kept, this is the greatest number of orbital launch attempts made in any year ever, greater than the 144 launch attempt record set in 2021. According to CASC, the satellite was successfully placed into a 700 km altitude orbit. The 20C satellite is a classified satellite for China, which is thought to be for technology demonstration, acting as a pathfinder for new satellite technologies. It was built by CAS Microsats, and it is speculated that the Shiyan satellite constellation is used for agricultural monitoring. This said, the China Ministry of National Defense likely uses the constellation for other unknown activities. With a mass of ~1,200 kg, the launch of Shiyan-20C brings the Shiyan satellite constellation to 22 satellites strong. These satellites are placed in a large variety of orbits, including some low Earth polar orbits and some in geostationary Earth…

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China successfully places Shiyan-20C satellite into orbit

Updated: October 29, 2022 — 10:27 am