Kuaizhou-1A returns to flight with a mysterious payload

This morning at 02:20 UTC, Kuaizhou-1A successfully returned to flight with the Tianxing-1 mission. The launch was conducted from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. This mission comes after the GeeSAT-1A&1B mission, which launched in December 2021 on the same rocket configuration and failed. The payload went to a 275 x 292 km orbit, with an inclination of 96.8 degrees. The launch was confirmed to be a success by Chinese state media. The payload is called Tianxing-1 and is referred to as a test satellite. See AlsoTianxing-1 UpdatesChina Forum SectionL2 ResourcesClick here to Join L2 It was built by the Institute of Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The stated purpose is to research the space environment. No further details were given about the exact purpose of the test payload, or the size and specifications. This kind of wording is often used on classified Chinese payloads to mask their true purpose. Given the orbital inclination, it is at least a possibility that the destination for this payload is a Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO), which makes an optical-based satellite more likely. These kinds of payloads use this orbit more often, as it guarantees stable visible conditions with a comparable…

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Kuaizhou-1A returns to flight with a mysterious payload

Updated: June 22, 2022 — 10:26 pm