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China launches Yunhai-1 03 Earth-observing satellite into orbit

China has sent a fresh Earth-observing satellite into space.

AN EXTENDED March 2D rocket carrying the Yunhai-1 03 satellite lifted faraway from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert on Tuesday (Sept. 20) at 7: 15 p.m. EDT (2315 GMT; 7: 15 a.m. local time on Wednesday, Sept. 21).

Chinese state media said the satellite will undoubtedly be used (opens in new tab) for “detecting the atmospheric, marine and space environments, disaster prevention and mitigation, and scientific experiments.” Very little else is well known concerning the Yunhai-1 group of spacecraft.

Related: China National Space Administration: Facts & information

rocket lifting off with cloudy sky behind

AN EXTENDED March 2D rocket launches the Yunhai-1 03 Earth-observing satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Sept. 20, 2022. (Image credit: CCTV)

Yunhai-1 03’s predecessor, Yunhai-1 02, launched in September 2019 and was apparently whacked by way of a little bit of space junk in March 2021. The reason behind the collision has been traced to a little little bit of a Zenit-2 Russian rocket body.

Yunhai 1-02 seems to still be with the capacity of adjusting its orbit regardless of the crash, which occurred at an altitude of 485 miles (780 kilometers), space junk expert Jonathan McDowell said in August 2021 (opens in new tab).

McDowell also said (opens in new tab) the incident was the initial major confirmed orbital collision since February 2009. In the past, a defunct Russian military spacecraft, Kosmos-2251, collided having an operational communications satellite referred to as Iridium 33, creating1,800 bits of trackable debris (opens in new tab) by the next October.

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Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is really a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to greatly help others explore the universe. Elizabeth’s on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from the simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada’s Carleton University. Elizabeth can be a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got thinking about space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, but still really wants to be an astronaut someday.

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