China successfully launched a Kuaizhou-1A carrier rocket to send four new satellites into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 11:20 a.m.
The four satellites, belonging to the Tianmu-1 meteorological constellation, have entered the planned orbit. Tianmu-1 is a Chinese commercial meteorological satellite constellation by CASIC’s subsidiary Xiyong Microelectronics Park for meteorology research using GNSS radio occultation.
They will mainly be used to provide commercial meteorological data services.
It was the 21st flight mission using a Kuaizhou-1A commercial carrier rocket.
The Kuaizhou-1 launcher, developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASIC), is a small, solid fueled launch vehicle, which is possibly based on the road mobile DF-21 IRBM with two additional upper stages.
The Kuaizhou-1 vehicle consits of three solid fueled stages and a fourth liquid fueled stage.
The vehicle is reportedly designed for quick-reaction launches and can reportedly place 400 kg into orbit. The payload of Kuaizhou-1 is integrated with the upper stage.