China launches commercial rocket mission
Gansu (China), Jan 9 (IANS) A Chinese rocket Kuaizhou-1A (KZ-1A) sent three satellites into space in its first commercial mission on Monday.
The rocket, carrying the satellite JL-1 and two CubeSats XY-S1 and Caton-1, blasted off from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu at around 12.11 p.m. (Beijing Time), reports Xinhua news agency.
The KZ-1A was developed from the Kuaizhou-1 rocket with improvements in adaptability.
It is a low-cost solid-fuelled carrier rocket with high reliability and short preparation period and was designed to launch low-orbit satellites weighing under 300 kg.
The JL-1 is a multifunctional remote-sensing satellite providing high-definition video images which is expected to be used for land resource and forestry surveying, environmental protection, transport and disaster prevention and relief purposes.
The XY-S1 and Caton-1 are experimental satellites to test technologies of low-orbit narrow-band communication and VHF Data Exchange System respectively.
A rocket technology company under the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation was responsible for the launch mission.