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China

Chinese Station

Chinese Station
Chinese space station - model at the Chinese Pavilion, Hannover Expo 2000.The model also shows docked supply and propulsion (solid?) modules.
Credit: © Mark Wade

The history of rocket and space development in China.

...by the first decade of the 21st Century, it seemed that a new Cold War and a new Space Race was in the offing. This time, the challenger to the American super-power was China...

The black powder rocket was invented by the ancient Chinese, but no indigenous effort in development of rocketry or space theory took place until the return of Tsien Hsue-Shen to China from America in 1955. Since the birth of China's space program a year later its development has mirrored that of the nation as a whole. It went through stages of arduous pioneering, development, reform and revitalization, and international cooperation. China's space industry was developed from a non-existent industrial infrastructure and scientific and technological level. After 50 years of struggle China ranked among the most advanced countries in such fields as manned spacecraft, satellite recovery, multi-satellite launch by a single rocket, cryogenic propulsion, strap-on boosters, geostationary satellites, satellite tracking and control, remote-sensing, communications, and navigation satellites, and micro-gravity experiments.

Tsien Hsue-Shen

The early development of the Chinese rocketry and space technology was led by American-trained Tsien Hsue-Shen. Tsien was born in Hangzhou, China in 1911 and went to America on a Boxer Rebellion Scholarship in 1935. Becoming a protégé of the legendary Theodor von Karman, Tsien was the leading theoretician in rocket and high-speed flight theory in the United States. He was instrumental in the founding of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, and collaborated closely with the newly-founded Aerojet Corporation. Tsien was a member of a team of top scientists that entered Germany just behind the American lines, locating and returning to the United States key documents and personnel of the advanced German aircraft and rocketry programs. Tsien first met Wernher von Braun during this period.

Returning from Germany, Tsien edited the leading findings of the project in the 800-page Jet Propulsion, which would become the classified technical Bible for post-war aircraft and rocket technical research in the United States. By 1949 Tsien applied the knowledge learned to the design of a practical intercontinental rocket transport (see Tsien Spaceplane 1949).

But in this same period Tsien's homeland was undergoing a chaotic period of civil war leading to the victory of Mao Tse-tung's Communist forces. In the larger world, the Cold War struggle had begun. Stalin had exploded an atomic bomb. It was revealed that the technology had been stolen from the Americans by wartime Soviet spies. The wartime ally was transformed to America's arch-enemy. In the backlash, McCarthyism took root in the United States.

Tsien seemed to have undergone a similar personal struggle of loyalty and allegiances. On the one hand he had applied to become a US citizen in 1949 and had become one of the senior scientists advising the US military on post-war development of rocket technology. On the other hand, Tsien was revolted by the corruption of the Chinese nationalists, faced racial discrimination in the United States, and constantly vacillated in his desire to return to his homeland.

On June 6, 1950, Tsien was visited by the FBI and accused of being a Communist party member. His security clearance was revoked, destroying his ability to conduct further research. He attempted to return to China, but was detained under virtual house arrest for five years, while his technical knowledge become more and more dated. In the 1955 Geneva talks on return of American prisoners of war, release of Tsien was made an explicit condition of the Chinese. Eisenhower himself agreed to do so, and in September 1955 Tsien left for China.

Arduous Pioneering

Building rocket and aircraft technology in China was to be a long process. Achieving the indigenous technologies in metallurgy, machinery, and electronics was an enormous task. Tsien assisted in negotiation of a 1956 agreement with the Soviet Union for transfer of rocket and nuclear technology to China, including training of Chinese students at Russian universities. The Russians provided an R-2 rocket, an improved version of the V-2, as a starting point. But in 1960 the Soviet government discontinued further cooperation with China. Nevertheless later that year Tsien launched the first Chinese-built R-2, the DF-1.

Chinese political upheavals - the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, Tsien's backing of the disgraced Lin Biao - further delayed progress. However despite incredible impediments, the Chinese rocket team launched the CZ-DF-5 ICBM in 1971, in a single decade having gone through intermediate DF-2, DF-3 , DF-3 Tsien , and DF-4 missile designs. The DF-5 ICBM provided the basis for the CZ-FB-1 and CZ-2A space launch vehicles.

In 1968 Tsien founded the Space Flight Medical Research Center to prepare for manned flights. The Shuguang-1 project aimed to put a Chinese man into space by 1973. By 1970 he had launched China's first satellite, the DFH-1, using his CZ-1 rocket (the DF-2 missile with an upper stage), making China the fifth spacefaring country in the world. However the turmoil within Chinese politics continued to impede progress. The CZ-FB-1 and its mysterious JSSW satellite, built by the losing side of the cultural revolution, was canceled. The Shuguang-1, its officers implicated in the Lin Biao affair, was stopped. The CZ-2 however was elaborated into an extensive launch vehicle family over the next thirty years. It was used for launches of the FSW photo reconnaissance satellite, with a recoverable re-entry capsule beginning in 1974.

Tsien's manned spacecraft design proposed in the late 1970's was a winged spaceplane (Tsien Spaceplane 1978), launched by a CZ-2 Spaceplane Launcher], consisting of the CZ-2 core booster with two large strap-on boosters. It so strongly resembled the canceled US Dynasoar of 15 years earlier that US intelligence analysts wondered if it wasn't based on declassified Dynasoar technical information. It would seem that this was to be preceded by a simpler manned capsule (Chinese Manned Capsule 1978).

First public announcement of the manned program came in February, 1978. By November the head of the Chinese Space Agency, Jen Hsin-Min, confirmed that China was working on a manned space capsule and a "Skylab" space station.

In January, 1980 the Chinese press reported a visit with the Chinese astronaut trainees at the Chinese manned spaceflight training center. Photographs appeared of the astronauts in training. Pressure suited astronauts were shown in pressure chamber tests. Other trainees were shown at the controls of a space shuttle-like spaceplane cockpit.

A fleet of ships for recovery of manned capsules at sea was built and in May, 1980, the first capsule was recovered from the South Pacific after a suborbital launch. But then, suddenly, in December, 1980, Wang Zhuanshan, the Secretary General of the New China Space Research Society and Chief Engineer of the Space Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announced that Chinese manned flight was being postponed because of its cost. Fundamental economic development was given priority.

Development

China returned to development of more-modest unmanned spacecraft and entering the international commercial launch market in 1985. China developed new cryogenic engines and used a modular approach based on the CZ-2 design to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations, capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. China launched 27 foreign-made satellites in 1985-2000. A series of launch failures lead to US assistance in improving the design, resulting in 21 consecutive successful flights from October 1996 to October 2000. However by then a US embargo over improper technology transfer and collapse of the MEO satellite market led to a sharp reduction in Chinese commercial launches. Geography and the availability of existing CZ-2 launch pads resulted in China establishing three land-locked launch sites to reach various orbits. These were Jiuquan, for launch to mid-inclination orbits, Xichang for launch to geosynchronous orbit, and Taiyuan for polar orbits.

Indigenous satellite development was not neglected. By October 2000, China had launched 47 satellites of various types, with a flight success rate of over 90%. Altogether, four satellite series were developed in China:

  • FSW (Fanhui Shei Weixing, Recoverable Test Satellite) Recoverable satellites, used initially for military reconnaissance. In the late 1980s, the design was employed for earth resources photography and experiments in crystal and protein growth, cell cultivation and crop breeding. China was the third country in the world to master the technology of satellite recovery.

  • DFH (Dongfanghong) telecommunications satellites. In the mid-1980s, China began to utilize domestic DFH-2 and foreign telecommunications satellites. For fixed telecom service, China built scores of large and medium-sized satellite telecom earth stations, with more than 27,000 international satellite telephone channels. The establishment of the DFH-3 domestic satellite public communication network, with more than 70,000 satellite telephone channels, solved the problem of communication in remote areas. By 2000 the VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) communication service had 30 domestic VSAT communication service providers and 15,000 small station users, including 6,300 two-way users (from areas such as finance, meteorology, transportation, oil, water resources, civil aviation, power, public health and media).

    China started to use foreign satellites for TV broadcasting in 1985, and formed a network with 33 transponders transmitting programs for CCTV (China Central Television) and local TV stations. Operation of satellite education TV broadcasting programs in 1988 trained over 30 million people in college or technical secondary school education. China also set up a satellite direct broadcasting experimental platform to transmit digital television to 189,000 dishes in China's vast rural areas.

  • FY (Fengyun) meteorological satellites. These provided an indigenous weather-tracking capability. The FY-1 series operated from low earth sun synchronous orbits while the FY-2 operated in geosynchronous orbit.

  • SJ (Shijian) scientific research and technological experiment satellites. China started to explore the upper atmosphere using rockets and balloons in the early 1960s. In the early 1970s, China began to utilize SJ satellites to obtain data on the space environment. The establishment of open state-level laboratories specializing in space physics, micro-gravity and space life science, and the founding of the Space Payload Application Center provided the basis for public international collaboration on space science.

Manned Programs

China restarted preliminary work on advanced manned spaceflight in July 1985. The decision came against a background of vigorous international space activity. The United States had its Strategic Defense Initiative and Space Station Freedom. The Soviet Union had its Buran shuttle system, Mir and Mir-2 space stations, and its own star wars program. Europe was developing the Hermes manned spaceplane, and Japan the Hope winged spacecraft. Even India and China were taking on ambitious space projects. It seemed China would have to take action to remain a world power.

Ren Xin Min, the leading Chinese rocketry expert of the time, believed that China should make a space station its national goal. This would develop all aspects of space technology, including modern launch vehicle capabilities. In early spring 1986, members of a standing committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Wang Da Hang, Wang Ganchang, Yang Jiachi, Chen Fangyun) proposed a family of seven Project 863 plans to accelerate Chinese technical development. These numbered plans covered biology, astronautics, information technology, military technology, automation, energy, and materials science. Astronautics plan 863-2 included section 863-204 space transportation system, which would service the 863-205 space station. It was estimated that two years would be needed for concept studies.

An expert group was established for the 863-204 shuttle, and issued a tender call to Chinese industry within two months of starting work. Two months later 11 alternate proposals were delivered, of which six were selected for feasibility studies. These were delivered in June 1988. The six proposals, ranked in order of technical sophistication, were:

  • H-2 HTOHL horizontal takeoff-horizontal landing two-stage reusable space shuttle, proposed by Institute 601 of the Air Ministry. The first stage would used air breathing engines to accelerate the rocket-powered second stage to release velocity. This ambitious design would leapfrog China ahead of other spacefaring nations, but would be available no earlier than 2015.
  • V-2 VTOHL vertical takeoff-horizontal landing two-stage reusable space shuttle, proposed by Beijing Department 11 of the Air Ministry. The first stage would use liquid oxygen-kerosene engines, while the second would use liquid oxygen-hydrogen engines. Both stages would be winged, and first flight would be no earlier than 2015.
  • Chang Cheng 1 (Great Wall 1) vertical takeoff-horizontal landing two-stage space shuttle, a compromise design created jointly by Shanghai Astronautics Bureau 805 (now the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology) and Institute 604 of the Air Ministry. An expendable booster, based on existing technology, would boost the winged second stage shuttle to a high altitude. The engines of the second stage would take it to orbit. This approach would allow a first flight to be made in 2008.
  • Tian Jiao 1 (Pre-eminent in Space 1) vertical takeoff-horizontal landing spaceplane, proposed by the First Academy (now the China Academy of Launch Technology). It duplicated the aerodynamic shape of the American shuttle, but was a fraction of the size. Unlike the shuttle, the engines would not be recovered - the spaceplane would be launched by an existing expendable booster. Pursuing this as a more modest first objective would allow China to take an incremental approach to eventually achieving a reusable shuttle. Conceived as being able to fly in both unmanned and manned modes, Tian Jiao 1 could be available by 2003.
  • Hermes spaceplane. Institute 611 of the Ministry of Air was involved in collaborative projects with France at the time. They judged the existing technical development of China and France to be roughly equivalent. This meant it would be possible for China to license-build the European Hermes manned spaceplane for its own use. This would be the quickest and most efficient way for China to obtain the latest manned spaceflight technology, with a first flight in the 1990's.
  • Shenzhou - Department 508 of the Fifth Academy (now the Chinese Academy of Space Technology) proposed a manned space capsule, recovered by parachute, similar to the Soviet Soyuz spacecraft. Department 508 argued that the Chinese industrial and technical base was not realistically up to developing winged reusable spacecraft, and that this would take a very long time and would not be flying until well into the 21st Century. A capsule should be developed in any case as a lifeboat for the space station, and would provide a Chinese manned space capability by the year 2000 - and until a winged spacecraft was available.

Seventeen experts met in Harbin during 20-31 July, 1988, to make final assessments and recommend a course of action. It finally concluded that development of a winged reusable space shuttle system was acceptable as a national long-term goal to guide technology development. But China did not have aerodynamic or rocket technology to develop a hypersonic aircraft with reusable rocket engines. The two designs that were considered technically achievable ranked very close in the expert's rating system - the Tian Jao 1 with a score of 83.69, and the Department 508 manned space capsule with a score of 84.00. However no decision could be made as to one or the other at the conference, and the debate raged further.

The space capsule advocates pointed out that the development cost would be relatively modest, since China already had the boosters to launch it, and had proven ballistic capsule re-entry and recovery technology. They repeated that such a capsule would in any case be needed as a lifeboat for a Chinese station, and that the capsule would be safer and more reliable than a spaceplane design. The Chinese aeronautical industry in fact did not have the existing technical base to build a true supersonic cruise aircraft, let alone a hypersonic aircraft.

The Tian Jao spaceplane advocates pointed out that the space capsule approach did little to advance the Project 863 objectives of leapfrogging Chinese technology to a world-class 21st Century level. Indeed China might even invite international contempt by flying a 1960's-type design.

The final 863-204 Expert Commission report in July 1989 advocated building the manned capsule, with a first flight date of 2000. This would satisfy the leadership's desire for an early Chinese manned space capability, and establish the essential earthly infrastructure and spacecraft subsystems technology for more advanced systems. However in parallel development of technology for a two-stage-two-orbit horizontal takeoff and landing reusable space shuttle would be pursued, with a first flight date of 2015.

The report failed to impress the government. Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping rejected both plans, saying that neither could be flying in his lifetime. The Chinese space establishment went back to the drawing board.

While this planning for a new era of Chinese space exploration was underway in great secrecy, an official stance of indifference was presented to the outside world. In 1984 President Reagan offered to fly a Chinese cosmonaut on the U.S. shuttle, but the Chinese were not interested. Subsequent efforts to involve them in the International Space Station were also unsuccessful. The Chinese press reported that astronauts were still in training in September, 1986, but also that manned spaceflight was still considered unaffordable. However in 1983-1988 China signed the various UN treaties on space and began participating in international conferences.

Reform and Revitalization

Deng stepped down as Chairman of the Central Military Commission in 1989. In his absence the Chinese military decided it could safely lend its critical support to a manned space program. In January 1991 the Air Ministry established a manned space program office with Liu Jiyuan as its head. After that things moved quickly. On 15 March 1991 Project 863 leader Ren Xin Min was called to a meeting with Premier Li Peng. Ren Xin Min presented a more modest manned space development plan, using the existing Long March CZ-2E booster to launch a manned ballistic capsule into orbit. There was no longer any mention of development of hypersonic reusable winged space shuttles. Li Peng was especially gratified to see the funds previously spent on the Long March rocket being put to good use, and work on the project began in earnest.

During the course of 1991 three proposals were made for a spacecraft designed within the 8-metric ton payload capability of the CZ-2E:

  • The First Academy (now CALT, the China Academy of Launch Technology) proposed a three-module design like that of Soyuz. However it differed critically in that the orbital module was larger and capable of autonomous flight after the conclusion of the mission. Leader of the design team was Ren Xin Min.
  • The Fifth Academy (now CAST, the China Academy of Space Technology) considered three alternative configurations. One was a three-module Soyuz-type design, with a forward orbital module, a central re-entry vehicle, and an aft service module. The second had the re-entry vehicle forward, with an orbital module at the center, and a service module aft. Access from the re-entry vehicle to the orbital module was via a metal tube, which ran externally from a hatch in the re-entry vehicle to the orbital module (the solution used in the American MOL, and Soviet Soyuz VI and TKS - a hatch in the heat shield - was evidently considered unacceptable). The third design had just two modules, a larger re-entry vehicle forward, and a service module aft.
  • The Eighth Academy (now SAST, the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology ) also proposed a three-module design.

In October 1991 Tsien was retired. Ren Xin Min brought 10% scale models of the proposed designs to a final evaluation board on 8 January 1992. In April 1992 the Chinese leadership decided that an independent manned space program could now be afforded. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the decision was taken to proceed with Ren Xin Min's three-module-autonomous orbital module concept. On 1 August 1992 Li Peng attended the final meeting of the board and where the following program plan was presented:

  • Phase 1 would involve launch of 2 unmanned versions of the manned spacecraft, followed by the first Chinese manned spaceflight, by 2002.
  • Phase 2 would run through 2007, and involve a series of flights to prove the technology, conduct rendezvous and docking operations in orbit, and operate an 8-metric ton spacelab using the basic spacecraft technology.
  • Phase 3 would involve orbiting of a 20-metric ton space station in the 2010-2015 period, with crews being shuttled to it using the 8-metric ton manned spacecraft.

The final plan was approved on 21 September 1992, and Project 921 to create a Chinese manned space capability began in earnest. But Project 921 was much more than just the development of a new spacecraft and modified booster. Implementing the program required modernization of the Chinese technology base and infrastructure, and this was in fact its main purpose. Wang Yongzhi was made responsible for overall project management. At CAST, Qi Faren was responsible for the spacecraft itself. The design of the service module was assigned to SAST under Qi Faren's direction. CALT was to design the CZ-2F man-rated modification of the CZ-2F. A complete new technology vertical assembly building, mobile launch vehicle transporter, and launch pads had to be built in Jiuquan (with Xu Kejun as chief designer). An integrated approach to recovery of the manned spacecraft, including land, sea, and air vehicles, was developed by Zhao Jun for use in the primary landing zones at Siziwangqi and Alashanyouqi in Inner Mongolia. A new unified S-band spacecraft tracking and control network was developed under the leadership of Yu Zhijian. This included new tracking sites outside of Chinese territory, a new tracking ship, the upgrade of existing tracking stations and ships, and a new flight control center in the north-east suburbs of Beijing. Astronaut training and crew technology was non-existent in China, and this capacity was developed by Shu Shuangning at the Aerospace Medical Engineering Research Institute. Of the total $2.3 billion program cost through the first manned flight, $ 1.0 billion went to infrastructure.

A rearguard action was fought to try to include new booster development. In October 1993 the Shanghai Astronautics Bureau proposed development of six large carrier rockets and eight new spacecraft, including a manned one, for inclusion in the Eight and Ninth Five Year Economic Plans. But this was not approved. Shanghai's program for development of a new generation of liquid oxygen - kerosene rockets was shelved, and those resources were instead put into the development of large solid motors for military use.

Russian assistance to the program began as early as May 1991, when Russian lecturers briefed the Chinese engineers on the capabilities and potential of their Soyuz spacecraft. This was followed by two-year fellowships for 20 young Chinese engineers in Russia during 1992-1994. In September 1994 Chinese President Jiang Zemin visited the Russian Flight Control Center in Kaliningrad and noted that there were broad prospects for cooperation between the two countries in space. In March 1995 a deal was signed to transfer manned spacecraft technology to China. Included in the agreement were training of cosmonauts, provision of Soyuz spacecraft capsules and life support systems, androgynous docking systems, and space suits. In 1996 two Chinese astronauts, Wu Jie and Li Qinglong, began training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia. After graduation these men returned to China and began selection of a cadre of 12 Chinese astronauts.

In June 1999, coincident with public announcements that the first unmanned test of the spacecraft would be made in October, photographs of the CZ-2F launcher with a Soyuz-style shroud appeared mysteriously on the Internet. In fact the program was encountering serious delays, and the only way to make the deadline of the first unmanned launch by the end of 1999 was to take the ground electrical test model of the spacecraft and fly that in space. So the first Shenzhou would have functioning service module and re-entry vehicle, but the orbital module would be a nearly inert mock-up.

In April 1998 China began export of its satellite technology with the signature of a memorandum of understanding with Iran, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan and Thailand for development of a 'Small Multi-Mission Satellite'

The first model of a planned manned shuttle was exhibited at Hanover Expo 2000. This showed a double-delta winged spaceplane with a single vertical stabilizer, equipped with three high-expansion engines. Based on the size of the presumed two crew side-by-side cockpit, dimensions could be very roughly estimated as a wingspan of 8 m and a length of 12 m, and a total mass of 12 metric tons. This seemed about half the size but the same configuration as the original six-engined Tian Jiao orbiter designed in 1988.

The New Millennium

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) was established as China's governmental organization responsible for the management of satellites for civilian use and inter-governmental space cooperation with other countries. China's ten-year space objectives as established in 2000 were:

  • To build up an integrated Chinese military and civilian earth observation system. This would include meteorological, earth resource, oceanic, and disaster monitoring satellites. An important part of this would include a coordinated national satellite remote-sensing data system for receiving, processing and distributing data to both civilian and military users. This effort was begun with launch of the ZY-2 (Ziyuan - 'resource-2') digital imaging military surveillance satellite in September 2000. It was followed by the SJ-6 ELINT satellites in 2004 and the Yaogan synthetic aperture radar all-weather military surveillance satellites in 2006.

    Other elements of this system were the Disaster Monitoring Constellation, the Earthquake Monitoring Satellite, and the FY-2 and FY-3 weather satellites, HY-1 oceanographic satellites, Double Star magnetosphere monitoring spacecraft, and SST solar monitoring satellites.

  • To set up an independently operated indigenously-built satellite broadcasting and telecommunications system. This would consist of geostationary telecommunications and direct broadcasting satellites with long operating life, high reliability and large capacity. Partnerships would be made with Western companies to increase the level of Chinese technology. Sinosat-1, launched in 1998, was the first such cooperative project between the Chinese and European aerospace industries. The technology would be used to develop new FH-1 military and DFH-4 civilian communications satellites, together with commercial satellites from other countries, to form a command-and-control network designed to link Chinese combat forces. Deployment of the new constellation began with Zhongxing 22 in January 2000.

  • To establish an independent Chinese satellite navigation and positioning system. This would be achieved by launching a satellite constellation in stages while developing the relevant application systems. The end result would be a Chinese indigenous satellite navigation and positioning industry. In the early 1980s, China began to utilize other countries' navigation satellites and develop the application technology of satellite navigation and positioning. After joining the COSPAS-SARSAT in 1992, China established the Chinese Mission Control Center. Experimental launch of the first pair of indigenous Beidou navigation satellites began in 2000. The system became operational shortly thereafter, with development for commercial applications beginning in 2002. In 2006 it was announced that a supplementary 30-satellite medium-earth-orbit constellation of satellites would provide coverage to all users. The first of this Beidou-2 constellation was launched in 2007.

  • To upgrade China's launch vehicles. This would be achieved by improving the performance and reliability of the Long-March group, while simultaneously developing a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with lower operating costs (CZ-NGLV-522-HO]). This enormous program encountered significant technical delays, and by 2007 was several years behind schedule.

  • To achieve the first Chinese manned spaceflight aboard the Shenzhou and complete research and development for the future manned 20 metric ton Chinese Space Laboratory. This project proceeded at a very slow launch rate, with a budget sufficient for an average of less than a single launch a year. The first and second manned Shenzhou-5 and -6 flights, in 2003 and 2005, generated enormous pride and interest with the Chinese public. However the military sponsors of the project seemed more interested in the use of the stay-behind Shenzhou orbital module as an ELINT and military test platform. Then the program stalled seriously, with the Space Laboratory being delayed by the development problems with the new generation launch vehicles.

    In 2007 it was announced that Shenzhou-7, with the long-awaited first Chinese spacewalk, would take place that year. But then there would be a three-year delay. Shenzhou 8 and 9 would be launched unmanned, modified to be 8 metric ton space laboratory modules with two docking ports. They would then be followed by the manned Shenzhou 10, which would presumably operate the station for a brief period. Then there would be another multi-year delay, with a small man-tended space station being launched in 2012, followed by at least one visiting manned mission.

  • To develop a new generation of scientific research and technological experiment satellites. These would conduct studies in micro-gravity, materials science, life sciences, space environment, astronomy, and preliminary studies for manned exploration of the moon. The first of these new series were the SJ-5, CX-1, OlympicSat, and TS-1 satellites.

The long-term 20-year development targets were established as:

  • Industrialisation and marketing of space technology and applications.

  • Establishment of an integrated space infrastructure and a satellite ground application system that harmonizes spacecraft and ground equipment.

  • Permanent establishment of China's own manned spaceflight system and conduct of manned spaceflight scientific research and technological experiments 'on a certain scale'. Depending on available budget, this could include the Chinese Space Laboratory, and the Chinese Lunar Base.

  • To become a world leader in the field of space science and exploration of outer space.

  • Continued international cooperation to both obtain more-advanced technology from Western countries and to assist developing countries in development of space technology.

As implementation of the new plan began, the situation between the United States and China resembled the Cold War and Space Race. The allegations of Chinese theft of American technology through espionage, and the following security crackdowns and spy hunts, were strongly reminiscent of the early 1950's. It seemed that the second Cold War was beginning, with a second Space Race as well. Thus began the new millennium and the 'Chinese Century', in which China was projected to become the richest, most populous, and most powerful nation on Earth.

Addendum - Chinese Space Infrastructure

The national space program was managed by the China Aerospace Corporation (CASC - called the Ministry of Aerospace Industry before 1993). CASC continued to act as a government department when dealing with foreign affairs in the name of the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

There were five main Research Academies under CASC:

  • Chinese Academy of Launch Vehicles Technology (CALVT), responsible for design and manufacture of the Long March series of liquid propellant launch vehicles
  • Chinese Academy of Space Technology, responsible for design and manufacture of satellites
  • Academy of Solid Rockets
  • Academy of Tactical Missile Technology
  • Academy of Cruise Missile Technology.

Commercial space activities were handled by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC). CGWIC was a foreign trade company, exclusively responsible for international sales, marketing, commercial negotiation, contract execution and performance. CGWIC established business relations with a number of companies and research institutes in the United States, Sweden, Germany, France, Australia, Britain, Brazil, the International Communication Satellites Organization, the International Marine Satellites Organization, and other international organizations.

Chinese Space Educational Infrastructure

The first departments of Aeronautics were established in 1940 at Tsinghua University, Shanghai Chao-Tang University, Central University and Zhejiang University. Following the return to China of Tsien Hse Shen and other US-educated experts in 1958, the Beijing Aeronautical Institute, Northwestern Polytechnic University, Xarbin Polytechnical University, Xarbin Military Institute of Technology and others established their departments of astronautics. Northwestern Polytechnical University has provided an astronautics curriculum without interruption since 1958. In its first forty years it granted more than 5000 Bachelors, 500 masters and 80 PhD degrees in astronautics. The other institutes had their activities interrupted by the Cultural Revolution and only resumed teaching in the subject after 1985. Areas of specialization include Flight Vehicle Design, Rocket Engine Design, Control Engineering, Flight Mechanics, Electronics, Avionics, and Computer Sciences. These departments of Astronautics are now called colleges of Astronautics.

Satellite launch sites

China has over the years established three launch sites for its space program:

  • The Jiuquan launch site located to the north of Jiuquan city in Gansu province. There were four launch pads at the Jiuquan launch site, complete with ground support facilities, from which 24 low earth orbit satellites were launched from 1970 into higher inclination orbits. In 1999 the facility was improved by the addition of a southern area, with a new Vertical Assembly Building and launch pad for heavy and manned launch vehicles.
  • The Taiyuan launch site located 139 km from Taiyuan city in Shanxi province. This launch site was used for the launch of sun-synchronous and other polar orbit satellites.
  • The Xichang satellite launch center located near Xichang city in Sichuan province. The Xichang satellite launch center was used for launch of geostationary satellites into low inclination transfer orbits. Xichang has the geographical advantage of being at a relatively low latitude. All of China's geostationary satellites have been launched from Xichang, as well as foreign geostationary satellites launched by Chinese boosters.

Tracking, Telemetry and Command Network

China's tracking, telemetry and command system was constructed and developed in close step with the development of launch sites. Up until the late 1990's, China's TT and C system consisted of a control center located at Xi'an city in Shaanxi province, eight ground stations (5 fixed stations and 3 mobile stations), and two TT and C ships. The 5 fixed ground stations were located at Weinan (near Xi'an), Min'xi (in Fujian province), Changchun (in Jilin province), Karshi (in Xinjiang), and Nanning (in Guangxi). Although located entirely within China, this network of optical and radio tracking devices, and radio telemetry and command links was very successful in fulfilling the needs of China's early space program.

In the late 1990's the original system was supplemented to support the manned space program of the post-2000 period. The number of fixed stations on Chinese territory were increased to six. Agreements were signed with France, Brazil, and Sweden to mutually share tracking stations. An agreement was signed with France in February 1999 to tie together the French CNES control center with the Chinese center in Xian,. In January 2000 gave China access to the Swedish Space Corporation's tracking facilities in Sweden and Norway. New tracking stations were built outside of Chinese territory (in the Pacific, on South Tarawa Island of the Republic of Kiribati and at Swakopmund, Namibia, Africa). The cooperative CBERS project resulted in installation of Chinese satellite control equipment at a ground station in Brazil. A sixteen month overhaul of China's space tracking fleet was completed in Shanghai in 1999 and the fleet was increased to a total of four ships.

On a longer-range basis, a Chinese Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) was studied. The planned TDRSS would include two geostationary satellites and relay data from 5-10 satellites at a time while over 85% of the globe.

Any Chinese shuttle project will probably be realized in a different form than that originally planned some time in the first half of the next century. The Hanover model suggests that a modest spaceplane, launched by expendable boosters, would be flown before proceeding to any full-scale reusable winged launch vehicles. By 2002 Chinese space scientists were speaking of a two-stage to orbit, ballistic recoverable transport as the first recoverable Chinese space vehicle. The decisions by Russia and America in 2004 to abandon winged designs for the next generation of manned spacecraft and stick to manned capsules may mean that China will abandon any plans for a similar design.

Subtopics

China's Space Activities The official short and long range plan for the Chinese Space Program as of November 2000.

Chinese Manned Space Program: Behind Closed Doors Ed Grondine's account of China's 'Long March' to an independent manned space capability.

People: Cai Qiao, Shen Qizhen, Zhao Jiuzhang, Cai Jintao, Tsien, Li Xun, Wang Xiji, Zhuang Yuzhi, Wang Yongzhi, Qi Faren, Anders, Fang Guojun, Wang Rongsen, Ren Xinmin, Li Shichang, Lu Xiangxiao, Wang Daheng, Liang Shoupan, Wang Fuquan, Shao Zhijian, Wang, Huang Weilu, Tu Shoue, Liu Chongfu, Wang Zhiyue, Zhang Ruxiang, Lucid, Xie Guangxuan, Zhuang Fenggan, Meng Senlin, Zhang Cunhao, Du Jincheng, Liang Sili, Kuang Dingbo, Wu ChengKang, Zhou Benlian, Min Guirong, Song Jian, Li Qinglong, Wu Jie, Nie Haisheng, Yang Liwei, Fei Junlong, Liu Buoming, Jing Haipen, Zhai Zhigang, Bei Shizhang, Sun Jiadong, Liu Wang, Chai Hongliang, Dong Xiaohai, Hu Zhanzi, Liu Zhongyi, Ma Zizhong, Wang Fuhe, Wang Quanbo, Yu Guilin, Xue Lun, Ouyang Ziyuan, Chen Quan, Deng Qingming, Pan Zhanchun, Yuhangyuan 1?, Yuhangyuan 2?, Zhang Xiaoguan, Zhao Chuandong, Chen Long. Country: China. Engines: CZ-1C-3 engine, DF-1 engine, FY-25, YF-22, YF-22/23, YF-25/23, YF-3, YF-25, YF-20A, YF-22A/23A, YF-2A, YF-20B, YF-22B, YF-1, YF-120t, YF-23, YF-40, YF-50t, YF-73, YF-75. Spacecraft: Apstar, Beidou 3, JB-3, Jilin, Kaituo, Pujiang, Beidou-GEO, Beidou-IGSO, Beidou-MEO, CAST1000, CAST2000, CAST3000, CAST968, Chang'e-5, Chang'e-5 RRFV, Ling Qiao, Phoenix Eye, SJ-11, SJ-7, Tianhui, Tiantuo, Tianxun, XY-1, Yutu, Project 581, Oscar, DFH-1, Shuguang 1, JSSW, FSW, Tsien Spaceplane 1978, Chinese Manned Capsule 1978, Chinese Space Suit, SJ, HS 376, SSTL-70, Glonass, DFH-2, ISS, FY-1, Tian Jiao 1, Tian Jiao 2, FS-1300, HS 601, AS 7000, Project 921-2, DFH-3, Spacebus 3000, AS 2100, FY-2, Chinese Lunar Base, Earthquake Monitoring Satellite, SST, ZY, Shenzhou, HS 702, Shenzhou SM, Shenzhou RV, FH-1, Beidou, HY-1, HTSTL, Cubesat, Shenzhou OM, CX-1, Double Star, OlympicSat, Shiyan, SJ-6, Shiyan Weixing, Spacebus 4000, DFH-4, Zheda Pixing, Chang'e, Chinese ASAT, Shenlong, FY-3, SSTL-150, HJ-1, Ban Xing, Feitian, JB-5, Tiangong, Chinese Space Laboratory, JB-9, JB-7, JB-6, JB-8, JB-10, JB-11, Shenzhou Circumlunar, CZ H-18, Chinese Space Station, Chinese Cargo Spaceship. Flights: Shenzhou 5, Shenzhou 6, Shenzhou 7. Launch Vehicles: V-2, Atlas, Tsien Spaceplane 1949, DF-1, R-12, DF-2, R-14, T-7M, Proton, T-7, DF-3, DF-3 Tsien, DF-4, T-7A, T-7A-S, DF-2A, Chang Zheng 1, T-7A-S2, T-7/GF-01A, HP2, Dong Feng 5, HP6, Feng Bao 1, Chang Zheng 2, Chang Zheng 2C, Chang Zheng 2 Spaceplane Launcher, 761 sounding rocket, Chang Zheng 1M, JL-1, Chang Zheng 3, DF-21, DF-3A, Chang Cheng 1, H-2 HTOHL, V-2 VTOHL, DF-15, Chang Zheng 4, Zhinui, Chang Zheng 1C, DF-11, Chang Zheng 2E, M-7, Chang Zheng 2D, Project 921, Chang Zheng 3A, Chang Zheng 1D, Chinese Supergun, Chang Zheng 3B, Ariane 5, Chang Zheng 2C-III/SD, Chang Zheng 2F, Chang Zheng 4B, DF-31, Chang Zheng 3B(A), KT-1, CZ-NGLV-320, Chang Zheng 2E(A), CZ-NGLV-540, CZ-NGLV, Chinese RLV, CZ-NGLV-522, KT-2, KT-2A, CZ-NGLV-522/HO, JL-2, Chang Zheng 4C, Chang Zheng 3C, CZ-NGLV-200, Falcon 9, CZ-NGLV-504, CZ-NGLV-504/HO, CZ-NGLV-540/HO, DF-41, Dong Feng 5A, Kuaizhou. Projects: Asiasat, Chinastar, Long March, Palapa, Sinosat. Launch Sites: Taiyuan LC9, Hainan, Jianshui, Leping, Cape Canaveral, Baikonur, Mace Taiwan, Plesetsk, Jiuquan, Laogang, Shijiedu, Kourou, Harbin range, Taiyuan, Jingyu, Yellow Sea Launch Area, Xichang, Haikou, South China, Kiritimati, Urumqi. Stages: CZ-1C-3, CZ-YF-73, CZ-1-2, CZ-NGLV-KO, CZ-YF-2, CZ-NGLV-300, CZ-NGLV-500, Project 921-1, DF-2A-1, T-7 booster, T-7 LRE, DF-1-1, DF-2-1, FB-1-1, FB-1-2, Chang Cheng stage 1, Perigee Orbit Transfer Motor, CZ-4A-3, Project 921 LV-2, CZ H-18 stage, CZ-2C/SD-2, CZ-3A-1, CZ-2E(A)-0, CZ-NGLV-200 stage, CZ-2C-1, CZ-2E-1, CZ-3-1, CZ-4A-1, CZ-1D-2, CZ-2C-2, CZ-2E-2, CZ-3-2, CZ-3A-2, CZ-4A-2, CZ-4B-2, CZ-1D-3, CZ-4B-3, CZ-NGLV-HO, DF-21-1, DF-21-2, DFH-2 AKM, EPKM, FSW Retromotor, GF-02, LB-40, SpaB-54, T-7A Booster, ZN-1. Agency: PLA2AC, SPX, XPRC, ILS, Shanghai, PRC, PRCAS, MAI, CAST, Su.
Photo Gallery

ShenzhouShenzhou
Shenzhou, name of first Chinese manned spacecraft, as named by President Zemin.


Recovery of FSWRecovery of FSW
Recovery of FSW unmanned reconnaissance satellite capsule.


DFH-1DFH-1
Credit: via Sven Grahn


DFH-3DFH-3
Credit: via Chen Lan


Chinese ShuttleChinese Shuttle
Chinese shuttle craft - model at the Chinese Pavilion, Hannover Expo 2000.The model indicates a spaceplane similar to the cancelled European Hermes.
Credit: © Mark Wade


Chinese on MoonChinese on Moon
Chinese astronauts with lunar rover plant the flag of the People's Republic of China's flag on the lunar surface - model at the Chinese Pavilion, Hannover Expo 2000.
Credit: © Mark Wade


China astronautsChina astronauts
China astronauts in training, 1980's



1054 July 4 - .
  • The Crab Nebula Supernova - . Nation: China.

1897 October 11 - .
  • Birth of Cai Qiao - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Cai Qiao. Chinese Biologist. Cai Qiao was Vice President of the Military Medical Sciences Academy of the People's Liberation Army. In April 1966 he was one of three senior scientists that laid out the plans for China's first manned spacecraft..

1906 February 2 - .
  • Birth of Shen Qizhen - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Shen Qizhen. Chinese PLA Physician. Chairman of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, one of three senior scientists that laid out plans for the first Chinese manned spacecraft in April 1966..

1907 October 15 - .
  • Birth of Zhao Jiuzhang - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Zhao Jiuzhang. Chinese Engineer. Leader in development of instruments for use on Chinese sounding rockets and artificial satellites. Killed by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution..

1908 July 1 - .
  • Birth of Cai Jintao - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Cai Jintao. Chinese Engineer. Chinese communications and telemetry systems engineer..

1911 December 11 - .
  • Birth of Tsien Hsue-shen - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Father of Chinese spaceflight. Leading rocket theoretician, expelled from USA as Red in 1955. Created China's space industry from scratch, results: China's first ballistic missiles, 1960s; first satellite, 1970; and first astronaut, 2003..

1913 November 20 - .
  • Birth of Li Xun - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Li Xun. Chinese Engineer. Metallurgist who developed alloys crucial to China's nuclear, missile, and space programmes..

1924 July 27 - .
  • Birth of Zhuang Yuzhi - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Zhuang Yuzhi. Chinese Engineer. Metallurgist, developed materials for China's first recoverable satellites..

1933 October 17 - .
  • Birth of William Alison 'Bill' Anders - . Nation: China, USA. Related Persons: Anders. American pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo 8. Member of first crew to orbit the moon..

1935 August 15 - .
  • Tsien Hsue-shen leaves China to study at MIT. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Tsien Hsue-shen, father of Chinese rocketry and spaceflight, leaves China on a Boxer Rebellion Scholarship to study at MIT..

1936 September 1 - .
  • Tsien Hsue-shen enters CalTech - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Goddard, Tsien, von Karman. Program: Long March.

    Tsien Hsue-shen, at the urging of Theodore von Karman, begins graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology. He will continue there for nearly twenty years, first as a student, finally as the Goddard Professor, becoming one of the leading rocket scientists in the United States.


1940 June 16 - .
  • Birth of Dr Taylor Gun-Jin Wang - . Nation: China, USA. Related Persons: Wang. Chinese-American physicist payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-B..

1943 January 14 - .
  • Birth of Dr Shannon Matilda Wells Lucid - . Nation: China, USA. Related Persons: Lucid. American biochemist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-G, STS-34, STS-43, STS-58, Mir NASA-1. Biochemist, first American woman to make a long-duration space station mission..

1949 During the Year - .
  • Tsien Passenger Spaceplane - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: Tsien Spaceplane 1949. Spacecraft: Tsien Spaceplane 1949. Tsien Hsue-shen proposed a 22,000 kg single stage winged rocket that would carry ten passengers from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes..

1949 October 1 - .
  • Communist People's Republic of China formally proclaimed by Chairman Mao Zedong - . Nation: China.

1950 June 6 - .
  • Tsien Hsue-shen accused of being a Communist. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March.

    FBI agents interrogate Tsien Hsue-shen on allegations that he is a Communist. The same day his security clearance is revoked, making it virtually impossible to continue meaningful work in rocketry. The allegations seem unlikely to his associates at CalTech (his wife was the daughter of one of Chiang Kai-shek's leading military strategists). Two weeks later, Tsien announces his intention to return to China. Tsien, denied the possibility to work, becomes enmeshed in a tug-of-war between differing viewpoints in the US government bureaucracy: those that want to deport him as an undesirable alien, and those that want to keep him in the country because of what he knows.


1955 September 17 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Tsien Hsue-shen deported from the United States. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March.

    After five years of wrangling, and secret talks in Geneva between the Red Chinese and US governments, Tsien is deported from the United States. Upon arrival in China, he was immediately put to work as head of the Chinese missile program. He had to introduce US systems engineering approaches to Chinese engineers, and build the technical infrastructure to enable China to build rockets.


1956 January 5 - .
  • Institute of Mechanics founded in Beijing - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien.

    Tsien is director of the institute. It is equipped with mechanical desk calculators and only one telephone. Deputy Director is a Tsien protege, Dr Guo Yonghuai, who graduated with a doctorate in aeronatuical engineering from Caltech in 1946. The Director of Operations is Xu Guozhi, a systems analyst that Tsien met on the ship from America to China.


1956 February 17 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Plan for missile development proposed. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March.

    Tsien Hsue-shen submits a secret proposal to the State Council for ballistic missile development - 'Prospectus for Establishment of a National Defence Aviation Industry'. The proposal calls for the establishment of a research facility for aeronautics and missile development.


1956 March 1 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • 12 year plan for Chinese aerospace - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: Project 581. Spacecraft: Project 581. Hundreds of Soviet and Chinese scientists put together the technology portion of China's 12 year plan. Missile development is emphasized in the plan at the expense of the aircraft industry..

1956 May 26 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Fifth Academy founded. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March.

    The Fifth Academy of the Ministry of National Defence is founded for development of ballistic missiles. Tsien is named its first Director on October 8. The Academy is established on the premises of an old hospital and two sanatoriums, with an initial staff of 100 high school graduates and 100 to 200 college graduates. Tsien teaches an 'Introduction to Rocket Technology' course while Zhuang Faggan from CalTech teaches aerodynamics.


1956 September 13 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1.
  • Russian agrees to sell China two R-1 missiles - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. They were delivered in December 1956. Tsien is disgusted to find that the missiles are nothing but copies of the V-2. Something more advanced is needed, he argues to the Russians..

1957 July 17 - .
  • Qian Weichang denounced. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien denounces his former colleague Qian Weichang..

1957 October 15 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Russia to assist China in missile development - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March.

    Russian and China sign New Defense Technical Accord, whereby Russia will supply China with protoype atomic bomb and two R-2 missiles, and related technical data. Under the agreement the Soviet Union will provide to China the necessary specialists, training, and tooling for licensed production of the R-2 ballistic missile (an improved version of the V-2).


1957 December 24 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 missiles arrive in China. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. A Red Army missile battalion with two R-2's and their launchers arrive in Beijing by rail. They are secretly moved to the premises of the Fifth Academy in the middle of the night..

January 1958 - . LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: R-12.
  • Project 581 - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: Project 581. Spacecraft: Project 581. The first project to build a Chinese satellite is set in motion..

April 1958 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Fifth Academy expansion begins. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien.

    Over the next year, the People's Liberation Army transfers 3000 technical staff and cadres to the Fifth Academy and a further 300 engineers to industry. The Chinese government sends increasing numbers of Chinese engineers to Russia for training in missile technology. All of this is done in great secrecy, with correspondence being addressed only to post office box numbers.


1958 April 28 - .
  • Tsien self-criticism - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. An article by Tsien confessing to his mistakes was published in the People's Daily..

1958 May 17 - . LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: R-12.
  • Project 581 pressure. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: Project 581. Spacecraft: Project 581. Chairman Mao says that China must orbit a satellite at the earliest possible date in order to match the Americans and Russians..

1958 June 1 - .
  • Tsien and Great Leap Forward - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. An article by Tsien appeared in Kexue Dazhong, claiming that new methods and a new process cycle could increase agricultural production by twenty times. This led to Mao's 'Great Leap Forward', resulting in the death of millions from starvation..

June 1956 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Beginning of construction at Jiuquan missile test site - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. The 20th Corps of the People's Liberation Army begins construction of launch and tracking facilities at Jiuquan. Wells are dug, willow and poplar trees are planted, roads and housing are constructed..

Second half of 1958 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 technical documentation delivered. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. 10,151 volumes of R-2 technical documents are delivered to Beijing. China orders 12 more R-2 missiles. 100 Soviet technicians arrive as advisors to the Chinese in production and operation of th emissiles..

1958 September 1 - .
  • Tsien enters Congress - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien was elected Deputy of Guangdong Province to the National People's Congress..

1958 September 19 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Missile development plans set. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Fifth Academy finalizes plan to proceed development of indigenous Dong Feng missiles (original DF-1, DF-2, DF-3 designations).

1958 December 1 - .
  • Tsien joins Communist Party - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien was allowed to join the Communist Party..

Early 1959 - . LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: R-12.
  • Chinese plan satellite launch by December 1959 - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: Project 581. Spacecraft: Project 581.

    Tsien and his colleagues set an initial goal of launching a satellite by the end of 1959. They see no reason to copy the antiquated R-2 missile being transferred from Russia, and want to make a great leap to an intermediate range missile capable of serving as the first stage of a satellite launcher. It very quickly becomes that this is much too ambitious and totally impossible.


January 1959 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 production advisors - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. The first Soviet advisors arrive to assist the Chinese in production of the R-2 missile..

April 1959 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Chinese/Russian missile talks - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. A Chinese delegation goes to Russia to discuss delivery of more tooling and machine tools for missile production..

1959 June 20 - . LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • Decision to withhold R-12 and nuclear warhead drawing package from China over Sidewinder affair - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Khrushchev, Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: Project 581. Spacecraft: Project 581.

    The Soviet Central Committee advises China it will not provide prototype or drawings of atomic bombs as agreed previously. Khrushchev promised China that he would provide the drawing package for the R-12 IRBM as soon as testing was completed. However then came the affair of the Sidewinder. At the end of 1958 or early 1959 a complete missile fell into the hands of the Chinese. They promised to provide it to the Russians, but then dragged their feet. They were finally told in February 1959 that unless they provided the Sidewinder, they would not be given the R-12 package. The missile was finally delivered but it was found that the key crystal in the infrared homing sensor was missing. The Chinese had also been caught disassembling a P-15 cruise missile at a training facility in China. It had taken the Russian trainers two days to get it reassembled correctly. Therefore on June 20 1959 the decision was taken not to transfer the R-12 or the promised nuclear warhead design to China.

    The Soviets created a new design bureau to copy the Sidewinder. Fabrication of the crystal for the infrared sensor was the main obstacle. The initial production batches had a 99% rejection rate. A state commission was set up to get to the bottom of the problem, but couldn’t find a solution. The main problem seemed to be low-quality ore provided by the mines.


July 1959 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Chinese/Russian missile talks - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. A second Chinese delegation goes to Russia to press for delivery of more tooling and machine tools for missile production..

1959 September 15 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • First missile factories built. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. First Chinese missile production factories built: Shenyang (missile frames) Nancheng (engines)..

October 1959 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Project 1059 - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Nie Rongzhen, Senior Commander of the Revolution responsible for strategic weapons, orders the Fifth Academy to quit wasting time on trying to leapfrog Soviet technology and concentrate on copying the Russian R-2. Code name for the project is 1059..

Late 1959 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 production obstacles - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: Project 581. Spacecraft: Project 581.

    14 manufacturers and 1400 industrial work units were needed to manufacture the R-2 engines alone. Basic materials were difficult to get. Some were imported; others substituted. Eventually 40% of the parts of the missile used substitute materials, but many of these replacements proved to be inadequate. Machine tools were not available, and the missile frame was formed manually by human muscle power. Inert gas arc welding technology had to be developed. Soviet style factories were being erected for the production of the missile.


1960 February 19 - . Launch Site: Laogang. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7M.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: Shanghai. Apogee: 8.00 km (4.90 mi).

    The Shanghai design institute completed the first subscale experimental model of the T-7 sounding rocket. This would use a solid booster and liquid propellant sustainer stage. The rocket was fuelled using a bicycle pump. Launched from Laogang, on the coast, the missile reached 8 km altitude.


1960 April 18 - . LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7.
  • T-7 motor test - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien reviewed rocket development in Shanghai and views a T-7 motor test..

Summer 1960 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Beijing-Jiuquan rail link - . Nation: China. The railway from Beijing to the Chinese missile launch site at Jiuquan is completed. The trip to the site takes four to five days..

1960 August 12 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Soviet/China break. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien.

    In the preceding months relations between the Soviet advisors and Chinese engineers had been strained by increasing Soviet secrecy. The Russians catch Chinese students at the Moscow Aviation Institute stealing restricted missile data. Finally Khrushchev declared the suspension of military assistance to China. All 1,343 Soviet specialists are withdrawn from the Fifth Academy in Beijing and return to Russia. They leave behind 343 uncompleted contracts. A total of 257 technical development projects were cancelled as a result.


1960 August 23 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Last Russian advisers leave China. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. The last Russian technical advisers are withdrawn from China..

1960 September 1 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-2.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). The rocket was built in the Soviet Union but used Chinese propellants. This launch took place just a month after all Soviet experts were withdrawn from China..

1960 September 1 - . Launch Site: Shijiedu. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: Shanghai. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi). First launch of the all-up missile..

1960 October 20 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • DF-1 launch preparations - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien goes to Jiuquan to supervise preparations for launch of the first Chinese-built R-2..

1960 November 5 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). First launch of all-Chinese version of Russian R-2, model 1059. Radio guidance was used. Nie Rongzhen is present to observe the event..

1960 November 14 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • DF-3 ICBM development begun. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March.

    Tsien appoints himself head of the DF-3 project - a quantum leap to build a 10,000 km range liquid oxygen/kerosene propellant intercontinental ballistic missile. The objective proves much too ambitious and is eventually cancelled. It is the last missile project Tsien is allowed to manage.


1960 December 1 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1960 December 1 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Two further launches are made from Jiuquan..

Early 1962 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Chinese project management - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien introduced a computer tool for management of Chinese aerospace development projects analogous to the American PERT program..

During 1962 - .
  • First Chinese trainees in satellite technology - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1. Four engineers from the Shanghai Institute of Machine and Electrical Design receive the first Chinese training in satellite design..

1962 February 1 - .
  • Communist China and Soviet Union split in conflict over Communist ideology. - . Nation: China.

1962 March 21 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2. FAILURE: Failure of guidance and engine mounting. Impacted after 69 seconds of flight.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

    First DF-2 launch attempt. The rocket impacted the earth after only 69 seconds of flight. Fundamental design errors were discovered in calculating flexing of the rocket in flight, placement of the guidance system, and engine mounting. The missile was completely redesigned for reduced thrust.


1963 December 1 - . Launch Site: Shijiedu. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7A.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: Shanghai. Apogee: 115 km (71 mi).

1964 February 6 - .
  • Tsien and Mao - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien tutors Mao on science. This is one of only six times that Tsien actually met Mao..

1964 June 29 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). This followed a two-year complete redesign and test program following the first launch failure in 1962. The reduced-thrust missile had a range of 1050 km with a 1550 kg warhead, barely enough to reach Japan..

1964 July 9 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1964 July 11 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1964 July 19 - . Launch Site: Shijiedu. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7A-S.
  • Life Science (mice) Biological mission - . Nation: China. Agency: Shanghai. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1964 September 12 - . LV Family: DF3. Launch Vehicle: DF-1, DF-3 Tsien, DF-4.
  • Chinese missiles redesignated and new development plan adopted. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March.

    Tsien had conducted a series of meetings with the Chinese leadership during the year to redefine China's missile development plans. There are clashes between Tsien, who favours an American engineering approach, and his staff, who were trained in Russian and favour the Soviet approach. Finally the missiles were defined by their target objectives, and a new development plan was adopted, with definite goals. The 1059 missile (copy of Russian R-2) was redesignated DF-1. The DF-2 was to be improved to carry an atomic bomb to a range sufficient to hit Japan. The DF-3 ICBM was cancelled, and the new DF-3 project would involve development of a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the Philippines (earlier referred to as the DF-1). The DF-4 was to be capable of hitting Guam, and the DF-5 would be an ICBM capable of reaching the United States. The DF-2, DF-3 and DF-4 would use strap-down accelerometer guidance packages, while the DF-5 was to be equipped with a full-fledged inertial guidance unit.


1964 October 13 - .
  • Birth of Nie Haisheng - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Nie Haisheng. Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 6..

1964 October 16 - . LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2A.
  • First Chinese atomic bomb tested. - . Nation: China. Program: Long March. The warhead had a yield of 20 kilotons..

1964 November 4 - . LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2A.
  • Go-ahead for DF-2A. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Decision to proceed with DF-2A extended range version of DF-2.

January 1965 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • Project 651 - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1. Tsien presents his plan for a Chinese satellite to the Central Committee..

1965 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7.
  • DFH test Technology test - . Nation: China. Agency: PRCAS. Apogee: 83 km (51 mi).

1965 April 1 - .
  • HY missile development - . Nation: China. Shenguan is authorised to develop and produce a missile based on the Soviet P-15 ('Styx') cruise missile (later designated Haiyang)..

1965 April 29 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • Chinese satellite plans. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1. Tsien says he can orbit a Chiense satellite in 1970 or 1971..

1965 June 1 - . Launch Site: Shijiedu. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7A-S.
  • Life Science (mice) Biological mission - . Nation: China. Agency: Shanghai. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1965 June 5 - . Launch Site: Shijiedu. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7A-S.
  • Life Science (mice) Biological mission - . Nation: China. Agency: Shanghai. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1965 June 21 - .
  • Birth of Yang Liwei - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Yang Liwei. Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 5. First Chinese man in space..

1965 August 10 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • Project 651 - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1. Zhou En Lai approves the plan for the construction and launch of China's first satellite..

November 1965 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2A.
  • First successful test of DF-2A. - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). First launch of redesigned DF-2. The flight demonstrated a 20% improvement in range for the same 1500 kg payload, and replaced the radio guidance of the DF-2 with an autonoumous gyroscopic system..

1966 January 4 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Chinese ICBM plans - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien proposes to add electronic countermeasures and other penetration aids to the DF-5 ICBM in order to defeat the planned American ABM system..

May 1966 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • DFH-1 satellite defined. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1. The satellite will be launched by the CZ-1 launch vehicle, a DFH-2 IRBM with a new upper stage..

1966 June 6 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • Cultural Revolution - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien is now head of the Seventh Ministry of Machine Building (the former Fifth Academy). Cadres accuse Tsien of spreading Nazi propaganda in China after his visit to Germany in 1946..

1966 July 14 - . Launch Site: Shijiedu. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7A-S2.
  • Life Science (dog) Biological mission - . Nation: China. Agency: Shanghai. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1966 July 28 - . Launch Site: Shijiedu. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7A-S2.
  • Life Science (dog) Biological mission - . Nation: China. Agency: Shanghai. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1966 October 10 - .
  • Birth of Zhai Zhigang - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Zhai Zhigang. Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 7. First taikonaut to walk in space..

1966 October 27 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2A.
  • Nuclear test - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

    DF-2A launched with a 1290 kg, 12 kt warhead from Jiuquan flew over a range of 800 km to Lop Nor, where the warhead successfully exploded. The Ninth Academy was responsible for development of the nuclear package. Tsien protégé Guo Yonghuai was the liaison between the Fifth and Ninth Academies for the development.


1966 December 26 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2A. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1967 Jan - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2A. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • R&D - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1967 January 23 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • Tsien removed - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1.

    Tsien was overthrown by the 916 (Mao) Clique. Ye Zhengguang, a missile engineer, with the approval off Zhou En Lai and Marshall Nie, confronts Tsien and removes him from his post as head of the Seventh Ministry. Minister of Machine Building Wang Bingzhang was also deposed. However Tsien was protected by the leadership, made a 'Vice Minister', and claimed he supports the coup. Wang refused to cooperate and would not hand over the chops of his office to the 916 Clique.


1967 May 26 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2A. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • R&D - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1967 June 10 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2A. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • R&D - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1967 June 17 - .
  • China conducts first thermonuclear bomb test. - . Nation: China. Program: Long March.

1968 June 8 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • Height of Cultural Revolution - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1. Yao Tongbin, a metallurgist at he Seventh Ministry, is beaten to death by Red Guards. Zhou En Lai intervenes, putting the top fifty missile scientists under this protection..

1968 August 8 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7/GF-01A.
  • GF-01A satellite test - . Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Apogee: 311 km (193 mi).

1968 August 20 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7/GF-01A.
  • GF-01A satellite test - . Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Apogee: 311 km (193 mi).

1968 October 26 - .
  • Death of Zhao Jiuzhang - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Zhao Jiuzhang. Chinese Engineer. Leader in development of instruments for use on Chinese sounding rockets and artificial satellites. Killed by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution..

1968 December 18 - . Launch Site: Harbin. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • R&D batch 02 - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1969 - . Launch Site: Harbin. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1969 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7.
  • DFH test Technology test - . Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Apogee: 81 km (50 mi).

1969 June 1 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7A.
  • FSW satellite technology test - . Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1969 July 1 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7A.
  • FSW satellite technology test - . Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1969 November 16 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2A. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1. FAILURE: The program distributor in the second stage broke down. The rocket crashed into the earth within view of the launch site after 69 seconds of flight.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • First Chinese satellite launch attempt ends in failure. - . Payload: DFH 1. Mass: 170 kg (370 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1. COSPAR: F691116Z.

    The launch vehicle arrived at the site on 18 March 1969. The objective was to launch China's first satellite before Japan lofted its counterpart. Ren Xinmin had obtained this specific order from Deng Hsiao Peng. Great difficulties were encountered in the middle of the Cultural Revolution, including the sending of most of the satellite engineers to work on irrigation ditch construction in the provinces. The skirt for the satellite, designed to make it easily visible to ground observors, had to be made from a special silk produced in a factory without the knowledge of the Red Guards. The engineers went by bus to a department store in Beijing to study an imported folding umbrella as a model for the deployment mechanism -- they could not afford to buy it. The entire launch was kept secret until a documentary was released in 2001.


1969 November 16 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • R&D (Destruct) - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1970 January 30 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2A. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • R&D (Minfeng target) - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). First test of prototype DF-3 (perhaps same configuration as CZ-1); not deployed..

1970 April 24 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • DFH-1 satellite launch authorised. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1. Mao personally authorises the launch..

1970 April 24 - . 13:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2A. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • DFH Mao 1 - . Payload: DFH 1. Mass: 173 kg (381 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1. USAF Sat Cat: 4382 . COSPAR: 1970-034A. Apogee: 2,162 km (1,343 mi). Perigee: 434 km (269 mi). Inclination: 68.4000 deg. Period: 111.60 min.

    The final campaign to launch China's first satellite began on April 1, 1970, when two DFH-1 satellites and the CZ-1 rocket arrived by train at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. This was over a year after the first attempt in 1969. Ren Xinmin was project leader and Qi Faren was leader of the DFH-1 experiment team. On April 2 Premier Zhou Enlai called a special meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for a final readiness review of the satellite and the launch vehicle. Zhou wanted special guarantees that the satellite would transmit the march 'The East is Red' from orbit.

    On the morning of April 24, 1970, the first and second stages of CZ-1 were loaded with propellant and stacked. The satellite was mated to the spin-stabilized solid-propellant third stage, and the launcher entered the final eight hours of launch preparation. Weather forecast for the launch at 9:30 p.m. called for clouds at above 7,000 meters and a wind speed of less than 4 to 5 meters per second.

    The historic launch came at 9:35 p.m. local time (13:35 UTC). Upon hearing the command "ignition", a launch controller pressed the button to start the rocket engines. The three-stage CZ-1, which was 29.46 meters tall and had a maximum diameter of 2.25 meters, lifted off the launch pad with a thrust of 104 tonnes. Liftoff weight of the CZ-1 was 81.5 tonnes. Rocket expert Shen Jianan recounted that "..as soon as I saw the liftoff on the TV screen inside the bunker, I ran outside. I could only see the beautiful rocket lighting up the night sky and streaking towards the southeast. I ran back inside to listen to the transmissions. Broadcasting on the speaker were status reports like 'capturing target', 'nominal tracking', 'nominal flight', 'nominal second and third stage separation'..." Thirteen minutes after launch, at 9:48 p.m., mission control announced "...satellite and rocket stage separation, satellite enters orbit...the bunker was filled with cheers".

    China became the fifth nation after the former Soviet Union, the United States, France and Japan to achieve an indigenous space launch capability. At 9:50 p.m., the National Broadcasting Bureau announced the acquisition of the tune 'East is Red' from the satellite loud and clear. In the following days, the People's Central Broadcasting radio and newspapers in Beijing announced and printed worldwide times of DFH-1 and CZ-1 third stage passages, and directions of travel in the sky. Senior officials in Beijing dispatched a chartered plane to JSLC to bring back Qi and other scientists. In the International Labour Day celebration on May 1, Chairman Mao and Premier Zhou warmly welcomed them at the Tiananmen Square.


1970 May 1 - .
1970 November 23 - . Launch Site: Jingyu. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Long range test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1971 March 3 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2A. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • SJ-1 - . Payload: Shi Jian 1. Mass: 221 kg (487 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-1. Spacecraft: DFH-1. Decay Date: 1979-06-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 5007 . COSPAR: 1971-018A. Apogee: 1,833 km (1,138 mi). Perigee: 265 km (164 mi). Inclination: 69.8000 deg. Period: 106.10 min. Similar in appearance to the American Telstar and conducted communications technology tests..

1971 September 10 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Research and Development Suborbital Flight.

1971 September 12 - .
  • Death of Lin Bao - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Lin Bao and his entourage are killed when their aircraft crashes, purportedly while trying to leave the country. Wang Bingzhang was associated with the coup plotters, and sent to prison for several years..

1971 Nov - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • Nation: China. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1971 November 15 - . Launch Site: Jianshui. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Long range test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1972 August 10 - . 00:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1.
  • Shiyan Peizhong - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). Research and Development Suborbital Flight.

1973 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1973 September 18 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • JSSW 1 - . Payload: JSSW 1. Mass: 1,100 kg (2,400 lb). Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Spacecraft Bus: JSSW. Spacecraft: JSSW.

1974 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • Nation: China. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1974 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA3. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: DF-2.
  • Nation: China. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1974 June 26 - . Launch Site: Harbin. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1974 July 14 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1. FAILURE: Vehicle lost attitude stability and destroyed by range safety.. Failed Stage: G.
  • JSSW 2 - . Payload: JSSW 2. Mass: 1,100 kg (2,400 lb). Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Spacecraft Bus: JSSW. Spacecraft: JSSW.

1974 Nov - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • Reentry wake test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1974 November 5 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2. FAILURE: Cable carrying pitch rate gyro signal disconnected.. Failed Stage: G.
  • FSW-0 - . Payload: FSW-0 No. A. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Decay Date: 1974-11-05 .

1974 Dec - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • Reentry wake test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1975 July 26 - . 13:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1.
  • JSSW 3 - . Payload: JSSW 3. Mass: 1,107 kg (2,440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: JSSW. Spacecraft: JSSW. Decay Date: 1975-09-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 8053 . COSPAR: 1975-070A. Apogee: 455 km (282 mi). Perigee: 190 km (110 mi). Inclination: 69.0000 deg. Period: 90.90 min. Photo surveillance; radio transmission. .

1975 November 26 - . 03:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-0 No. 1 - . Payload: FSW-0 No. 01. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 2.00 days. Decay Date: 1975-12-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 8452 . COSPAR: 1975-111A. Apogee: 483 km (300 mi). Perigee: 183 km (113 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 91.10 min.

    First orbital test of Chinese recoverable photo surveillance satellite. The spacecraft was brought down early, after three days in orbit, due to problems with the attitude control system cold gas supply. Along the skirt of the return capsule some wires and instruments were burnt during re-entry and capsule impacted far from its planned landing point. However usable film was obtained from the capsule. The Chinese Academy of Space Technology organised a team to determine the cause, and improvements were made in the next spacecraft of the model. Additional Details: here....


1975 December 16 - . 09:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1.
  • JSSW 4 - . Payload: JSSW 4. Mass: 1,110 kg (2,440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: JSSW. Spacecraft: JSSW. Decay Date: 1976-01-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 8488 . COSPAR: 1975-119A. Apogee: 387 km (240 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 69.0000 deg. Period: 90.30 min. Photo surveillance; radio transmission. .

1976 May 14 - . 21:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Performance test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1976 June 1 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Date uncertain. First test of DF-4. - . Nation: China. Program: Long March.

1976 August 24 - . 22:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Performance test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1976 August 30 - . 11:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1.
  • JSSW 5 - . Payload: JSSW 5. Mass: 1,108 kg (2,442 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: JSSW. Spacecraft: JSSW. Decay Date: 1978-11-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 9394 . COSPAR: 1976-087A. Apogee: 2,145 km (1,332 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 69.2000 deg. Period: 108.80 min.

1976 November 10 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • JSSW 6 - . Payload: JSSW 6. Mass: 1,100 kg (2,400 lb). Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Spacecraft Bus: JSSW. Spacecraft: JSSW.

1976 December 7 - . 04:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-0 No. 2 - . Payload: FSW-0 No. 02. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 2.00 days. Decay Date: 1977-01-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 9587 . COSPAR: 1976-117A. Apogee: 489 km (303 mi). Perigee: 172 km (106 mi). Inclination: 59.4000 deg. Period: 91.10 min. Photo surveillance; film capsule recovered 9 December. First completely successful test of the FSW spy satellite. Many improvements in comparison to the first FSW orbited..

1977 September 14 - . 00:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1.
  • DDDS test - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1977 September 30 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Full range test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1977 November 22 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Full range test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1978 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: XPRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1978 January 26 - . 04:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-0 No. 3 - . Payload: FSW-0 No. 03. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1978-02-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 10611 . COSPAR: 1978-011A. Apogee: 507 km (315 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 91.40 min. Photo surveillance; film capsule; capsule returned January 30. Second fully successful FSW mission..

1978 February - . LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2 Spaceplane Launcher.
  • First public announcement of a Chinese manned program - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: Chinese Manned Capsule 1978. First public announcement of a Chinese manned program came in February, 1978. By November the head of the Chinese Space Agency, Jen Hsin-Min, confirmed that China was working on a manned space capsule and a 'Skylab' space station..

1978 April 15 - . 16:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1.
  • DDDS test - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1979 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: XPRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1979 January 7 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Other sources say launch was from Taiyuan..

1979 July 15 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Other sources say launch was from Taiyuan..

1979 July 28 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1. FAILURE: Second stage failure.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • SJ-1 - . Payload: Shi Jian 1. Mass: 221 kg (487 lb). Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Spacecraft Bus: SJ. Spacecraft: SJ. The SJ-1 was similar in appearance to the American Telstar and conducted communications technology tests..

1979 August 21 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Other sources say launch was from Taiyuan on 2 August..

1979 September 4 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Other sources say launch was from Taiyuan..

1979 Oct 15? - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: XPRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1979 November 26 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Other sources say launch was from Taiyuan on 15 October..

1980 January - . LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2 Spaceplane Launcher.
  • Chinese astronauts in training - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: Chinese Manned Capsule 1978.

    The Chinese press reported a visit with the Chinese astronaut trainees at the Chinese manned spaceflight training centre. Photographs appeared of the astronauts in training. Pressure suited astronauts were shown in pressure chamber tests. Other trainees were shown at the controls of a space shuttle-like spaceplane cockpit.


1980 February 9 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1980 February 15 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Last DF-5 partial range test. - . Nation: China. Program: Long March. Other sources do not list this test..

1980 February 15 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: XPRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1980 May 18 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1980 May 21 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1980 August 2 - . 15:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1980 August 15 - . Launch Site: Jingyu. Launch Complex: Jingyu. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • First DF-4 test from Jingyu. - . Nation: China. Program: Long March. First launch from Jingyu test site..

1980 October 15 - . Launch Site: Jingyu. Launch Complex: Jingyu. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
1980 October 31 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1980 December - .
  • Work on early Chinese manned spacecraft ends - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: Chinese Manned Capsule 1978.

    Wang Zhuanshan, the Secretary General of the New China Space Research Society and Chief Engineer of the Space Centre of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announced that Chinese manned flight was being postponed because of its cost. Fundamental economic development was given priority.


1981 September 19 - . 21:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1.
  • SJ-2A - . Payload: Shi Jian 2B. Mass: 257 kg (566 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ. Spacecraft: SJ. Decay Date: 1981-09-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 12842 . COSPAR: 1981-093A. Apogee: 1,598 km (992 mi). Perigee: 232 km (144 mi). Inclination: 59.5000 deg. Period: 103.30 min.
  • SJ-2 - . Payload: Shi Jian 2. Mass: 483 kg (1,064 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ. Spacecraft: SJ. Decay Date: 1982-08-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 12845 . COSPAR: 1981-093D. Apogee: 1,608 km (999 mi). Perigee: 232 km (144 mi). Inclination: 59.4000 deg. Period: 103.40 min.
  • SJ-2B - . Payload: Shi Jian C. Mass: 28 kg (61 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ. Spacecraft: SJ. Decay Date: 1982-10-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 12843 . COSPAR: 1981-093B. Apogee: 1,615 km (1,003 mi). Perigee: 233 km (144 mi). Inclination: 59.4000 deg. Period: 103.50 min. Balloon for drag studies..

1981 December 7 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Other sources say launch was from Taiyuan..

1982 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • Long life test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1982 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • Long life test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1982 April 30 - . Launch Site: Yellow Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: 35.0 N x 125.0 E. Launch Platform: HULU. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: JL-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1982 September 9 - . 07:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-0 No. 4 - . Payload: FSW-0 No. 04. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1982-09-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 13521 . COSPAR: 1982-090A. Apogee: 392 km (243 mi). Perigee: 172 km (106 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 90.20 min. Photo surveillance; film capsule recovered 14 September..

1982 October 12 - . Launch Site: Yellow Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: 35.0 N x 125.0 E. Launch Platform: GOLF-C. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: JL-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1983 March 20 - .
  • Death of Li Xun - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Li Xun. Chinese Engineer. Metallurgist who developed alloys crucial to China's nuclear, missile, and space programmes..

1983 August 19 - . 06:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-0 No. 5 - . Payload: FSW-0 No. 05. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1983-09-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 14288 . COSPAR: 1983-086A. Apogee: 493 km (306 mi). Perigee: 170 km (100 mi). Inclination: 63.3000 deg. Period: 91.20 min. Photo surveillance; film capsule recovered 24 August..

1984 January 29 - . 12:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3. FAILURE: Third stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: U.
  • STTW-T1 - . Payload: STTW-T1. Mass: 900 kg (1,980 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-2. Spacecraft: DFH-2. USAF Sat Cat: 14670 . COSPAR: 1984-008A. Apogee: 6,446 km (4,005 mi). Perigee: 484 km (300 mi). Inclination: 36.1000 deg. Period: 162.00 min. First launch of a prototype DFH-2 communications satellite. Payload stranded in low earth orbit, but all subsystems including the communications payload were completely checked and tested..

1984 April 8 - . 11:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • STTW-T2 - . Payload: STTW-T2. Mass: 900 kg (1,980 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-2. Spacecraft: DFH-2. Completed Operations Date: 1988-06-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 14899 . COSPAR: 1984-035A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,733 km (22,203 mi). Inclination: 6.1000 deg. Period: 1,435.00 min.

    Prototype of DFH-2 communications satellite. After on-orbit testing and check out of the satellite and the ground stations, the satellite system was declared operational, and was used experimentally for the transmission of television, telephone, and data messages with good results. It stayed in operation for more than four years, exceeding the design life of three years by a comfortable margin. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 125 deg E in 1984-1988. As of 4 September 2001 located at 40.81 deg E drifting at 0.320 deg W per day. As of 2007 Feb 27 located at 133.57E drifting at 0.079W degrees per day.


1984 September 12 - . 05:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-0 No. 6 - . Payload: FSW-0 No. 06. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1984-09-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 15279 . COSPAR: 1984-098A. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 172 km (106 mi). Inclination: 67.9000 deg. Period: 90.20 min. Photo surveillance; film capsule recovered 17 September..

1985 May 1 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1985 September 28 - . Launch Site: Yellow Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: 35.0 N x 125.0 E. Launch Platform: XIA. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: JL-1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Reported first launch of JL-1 SLBM. Partial failure? - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1985 October 21 - . 05:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-0 No. 7 - . Payload: FSW-0 No. 07. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1985-11-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 16177 . COSPAR: 1985-096A. Apogee: 393 km (244 mi). Perigee: 171 km (106 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 90.20 min. Fanhui Shi Weixing photo surveillance satellite; film capsule recovered 26 October..

1985 Dec - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3A.
  • R&D range test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1986 Jan - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3A.
  • R&D range test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1986 February 1 - . 12:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • STTW 1 - . Payload: STTW 1. Mass: 1,024 kg (2,257 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-2. Spacecraft: DFH-2. Completed Operations Date: 1990-06-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 16526 . COSPAR: 1986-010A. Apogee: 35,819 km (22,256 mi). Perigee: 35,774 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 9.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.60 min.

    Second successful DFH-2 launch. Also designated STW-2, the satellite was positioned at 103 deg E. In comparison to the first two DFH-2's, a parabolic antenna reflector replaced the horn antenna. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 103 deg E in 1986-1990. As of 3 September 2001 located at 102.75 deg E drifting at 0.030 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 46.50E drifting at 0.019E degrees per day.


1986 Oct - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Op test - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1986 October 6 - . 05:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-0 No. 8 - . Payload: FSW-0 No. 08. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1986-10-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 17001 . COSPAR: 1986-076A. Apogee: 337 km (209 mi). Perigee: 169 km (105 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. Fanhui Shi Weixing recoverable satellite; capsule re-entered October 11 after five day mission..

1987 August 5 - . 06:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-0 No. 9 - . Payload: FSW-0 No. 09. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1987-08-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 18306 . COSPAR: 1987-067A. Apogee: 366 km (227 mi). Perigee: 169 km (105 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Fanhui Shi Weixing recoverable satellite; carried microgravity experiments; return capsule recovered August 10 after five days in space..

1987 September 1 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1987 September 9 - . 07:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-1 No. 1 - . Payload: FSW-1 No. 01. Mass: 2,100 kg (4,600 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1987-10-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 18341 . COSPAR: 1987-075A. Apogee: 222 km (137 mi). Perigee: 181 km (112 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Fanhui Shi Weixing recoverable satellite; return capsule recovered September 17 after eight days in space..

1988? - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-15. Launch Vehicle: DF-15.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1988 March 7 - . 12:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • Zhongxing 1 - . Payload: STTW 2 / Chinasat 1. Mass: 1,024 kg (2,257 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-2. Spacecraft: DFH-2. Completed Operations Date: 1997-07-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 18922 . COSPAR: 1988-014A. Apogee: 35,789 km (22,238 mi). Perigee: 35,786 km (22,236 mi). Inclination: 0.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 87 deg E in 1988-1997. As of 28 August 2001 located at 87.94 deg E drifting at 0.038 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 64.00E drifting at 0.067E degrees per day..

1988 August 5 - . 07:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-1 No. 2 - . Payload: FSW-1 No. 02. Mass: 2,100 kg (4,600 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1988-08-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 19368 . COSPAR: 1988-067A. Apogee: 311 km (193 mi). Perigee: 204 km (126 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. German crystal growth experiment in recoverable capsule. Results marred by hard landing..

1988 September 6 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4.
  • FY-1A - . Payload: Feng Yun 1A. Mass: 750 kg (1,650 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Technology. Type: Weather technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-1. Spacecraft: FY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 19467 . COSPAR: 1988-080A. Apogee: 895 km (556 mi). Perigee: 875 km (543 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 102.70 min. Experimental weather satellite. First use of new launch site and launch vehicle. Failed after 38 days due to problems with attitude control system..

1988 September 27 - . Launch Site: Yellow Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: 35.0 N x 125.0 E. Launch Platform: XIA. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: JL-1.
  • First successful JL-1 SLBM launch. - . Nation: China. Program: Long March. First successful JL-1 launch, impacting 123.53 deg N, 28.13 deg E..

1988 December 19 - . Launch Site: Haikou. LV Family: Zhinui. Launch Vehicle: Zhinui.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1988 December 20 - . Launch Site: Haikou. LV Family: Zhinui. Launch Vehicle: Zhinui.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1988 December 22 - . Launch Site: Haikou. LV Family: Zhinui. Launch Vehicle: Zhinui.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1988 December 22 - . 12:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • Zhongxing 2 - . Payload: STTW 3 / Chinasat 2. Mass: 1,024 kg (2,257 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-2. Spacecraft: DFH-2. USAF Sat Cat: 19710 . COSPAR: 1988-111A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,787 km (22,236 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 110 deg E in 1989-1999. As of 27 August 2001 located at 91.92 deg E drifting at 0.244 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 83.40E drifting at 0.283W degrees per day..

1988 December 24 - . Launch Site: Haikou. LV Family: Zhinui. Launch Vehicle: Zhinui.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1989 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5.
  • Nation: China. Agency: XPRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1990 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-11. Launch Vehicle: DF-11.
  • Test launch - . Nation: China. Agency: PLA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1990 February 4 - . 12:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • Zhongxing 3 - . Payload: STTW 4 / Chinasat 3. Mass: 1,024 kg (2,257 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-2. Spacecraft: DFH-2. Completed Operations Date: 1998-07-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 20473 . COSPAR: 1990-011A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,783 km (22,234 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.30 min.

    National operational communications satellite. Designation 1990-2. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 98 deg E in 1990-1998. As of 4 September 2001 located at 52.36 deg E drifting at 0.045 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 96.88E drifting at 0.061W degrees per day.


1990 April 7 - . 13:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • Asiasat 1 - . Mass: 1,442 kg (3,179 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Asiasat. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Asiasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 376. Spacecraft: HS 376. USAF Sat Cat: 20558 . COSPAR: 1990-030A. Apogee: 35,789 km (22,238 mi). Perigee: 35,786 km (22,236 mi). Inclination: 2.7000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min.

    First commercial Chinese launch; Stationed at 105 deg E; formerly Westar 6 (retrieved by STS-51A and refurbished). Fixed-satellite telecommunication services and transmission of television signals. Operational life about 10 years. Orbital position 105.5E. Owner/operator: Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co, Ltd. 23-24/F, East Exchange Tower, 38-40 Leighton Rd, Hong K ong. Telex 68345 ASAT HX Fax 852 576 4111. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 105 deg E in 1990-1999; 122 deg E in 1999-2000. As of 3 September 2001 located at 121.97 deg E drifting at 0.009 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 23.96E drifting at 3.706W degrees per day.


1990 July 16 - . 00:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2E.
  • HS-601 Model - . Mass: 3,400 kg (7,400 lb). Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Spacecraft Bus: HS 601. Spacecraft: HS 601. COSPAR: 1990-059xx. First launch of new Chinese launch vehicle..

1990 July 29 - .
  • Death of Cai Qiao - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Cai Qiao. Chinese Biologist. Cai Qiao was Vice President of the Military Medical Sciences Academy of the People's Liberation Army. In April 1966 he was one of three senior scientists that laid out the plans for China's first manned spacecraft..

1990 September 3 - . 00:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4.
  • FY-1B - . Payload: Feng Yun 1B. Mass: 881 kg (1,942 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Technology. Type: Weather technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-1. Spacecraft: FY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 20788 . COSPAR: 1990-081A. Apogee: 897 km (557 mi). Perigee: 875 km (543 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 102.70 min. Experimental weather satellite. Operated for over a year..
  • QQW 1 - . Payload: QQW 1A. Mass: 4.00 kg (8.80 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ. Spacecraft: SJ. Decay Date: 1991-03-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 20789 . COSPAR: 1990-081B. Apogee: 811 km (503 mi). Perigee: 789 km (490 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 100.90 min. QQW atmospheric balloon..
  • QQW 2 - . Payload: QQW 1B. Mass: 4.00 kg (8.80 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ. Spacecraft: SJ. Decay Date: 1991-07-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 20790 . COSPAR: 1990-081C. Apogee: 629 km (390 mi). Perigee: 596 km (370 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 97.00 min. QQW atmospheric balloon..

1990 October 5 - . 06:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-1 No. 3 - . Payload: FSW-1 No. 03. Mass: 2,100 kg (4,600 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Decay Date: 1990-10-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 20838 . COSPAR: 1990-089A. Apogee: 312 km (193 mi). Perigee: 208 km (129 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. Fanhui Shi Weixing recoverable satellite; carried biological research experiments..

1991 January 22 - . Launch Site: Haikou. LV Family: Zhinui. Launch Vehicle: Zhinui.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1991 August 10 - .
  • China accepts nuclear nonproliferation treaty - . Nation: China.

1991 December 28 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3. FAILURE: Third stage failed to ignite. Partial Failure.. Failed Stage: U.
  • Zhongxing-4 - . Payload: STTW 5. Mass: 1,025 kg (2,259 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-2. Spacecraft: DFH-2. USAF Sat Cat: 21833 . COSPAR: 1991-088A. Apogee: 34,041 km (21,152 mi). Perigee: 2,023 km (1,257 mi). Inclination: 32.3000 deg. Period: 632.60 min. Third stage failure; unusable orbit. DFH-2 operational communications satellite..

1992 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4.
  • Training - . Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1992 April - .
  • Chinese manned space programme authorised - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    The Chinese leadership decided that an independent manned space program could be afforded. The Chinese National Manned Space Program was given the designation Project 921. The 921-1 manned capsule entered full scale development in 1993 and the 921-2 space station in 1999. Only preliminary work was authorised on the 921-3 reusable spaceplane.


1992 April 29 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1992 May 1 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1992 August 9 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • FSW-2 No. 1 - . Payload: FSW-2 No. 01. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 15.00 days. Decay Date: 1992-09-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 22072 . COSPAR: 1992-051A. Apogee: 332 km (206 mi). Perigee: 171 km (106 mi). Inclination: 63.1000 deg. Period: 89.50 min. Fanhui Shi Weixing recoverable imaging satellite; carried microgravity experiments; capsule returned August 25 after 15 days in orbit..

1992 October 6 - . 06:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-1 No. 4 - . Payload: FSW-1 No. 04. Mass: 2,100 kg (4,600 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 6.00 days. Decay Date: 1992-10-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 22162 . COSPAR: 1992-064B. Apogee: 309 km (192 mi). Perigee: 213 km (132 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. Fanhui Shi Weixing recoverable imaging satellite; carried remote sensing, microgravity experiments; capsule recovered October 13 after 6 days in orbit..

1993 During the Year - .
  • Development of Shenzhou manned spacecraft begins - . Nation: China. Spacecraft: Project 921-2, Shenzhou. The 921-1 manned capsule entered full scale development in 1993 and the 921-2 space station in 1999..

1993 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5A.
  • Nation: China. Agency: XPRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1993? - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1993 June 16 - .
  • Death of Shen Qizhen - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Shen Qizhen. Chinese PLA Physician. Chairman of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, one of three senior scientists that laid out plans for the first Chinese manned spacecraft in April 1966..

1993 October 5 - .
  • China breaks nuclear test moratorium - . Nation: China.

1993 October 8 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-1 No. 5 - . Payload: Jian Bing 93. Mass: 2,099 kg (4,627 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Decay Date: 1993-10-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 22859 . COSPAR: 1993-063A. Apogee: 2,860 km (1,770 mi). Perigee: 181 km (112 mi). Inclination: 56.6000 deg. Period: 116.50 min.

    The only FSW-1 mission conducted during 1993-1994 was launched into an orbit of 209 km by 300 km at an inclination of 57.0 deg. In addition to an Earth observation Payload, FSW-1 5 carried microgravity research equipment and a diamond-studded medallion commemorating the 100th anniversary of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung's birth. The spacecraft operated normally until 16 October when an attempt to recover the satellite failed. An attitude control system failure aligned the spacecraft 90 deg from its desired position, causing the re-entry capsule to be pushed into a higher elliptical orbit (179 km by 3031 km) instead of returning to Earth. Natural decay did not bring the capsule back until March 12, 1996.


1994 February 8 - . 08:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • SJ-4 - . Payload: Shi Jian 4. Mass: 400 kg (880 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ. Spacecraft: SJ. USAF Sat Cat: 22996 . COSPAR: 1994-010A. Apogee: 26,837 km (16,675 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 28.7000 deg. Period: 465.40 min. Particles and fields research. .
  • KF-1 - . Payload: Kua Fu 1 / DFH-3 mockup. Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Program: Chinastar. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. Decay Date: 2002-02-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 23009 . COSPAR: 1994-010B. Apogee: 36,046 km (22,397 mi). Perigee: 178 km (110 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 635.69 min. Mass model of DFH-3 satellite..

1994 April 2 - .
  • Chinese satellite accident. - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: FY-2. Spacecraft: FY-2. The first Fen Yung 2 geostationary weather satellite was undergoing final checkout before being mated to its launch vehicle when a fire and explosion erupted, destroying the vehicle, killing one worker and injuring 20 others..

1994 July 3 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • FSW-2 No. 2 - . Payload: FSW-2 No. 02. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 15.00 days. Decay Date: 1994-09-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 23145 . COSPAR: 1994-037A. Apogee: 350 km (210 mi). Perigee: 207 km (128 mi). Inclination: 62.9000 deg. Period: 90.08 min.

    The second Fanhui Shi Weixing FSW-2 was launched on 3 July 1994 into an orbit of 173 km by 343 km at an inclination of 63.0 deg. The spacecraft remained in orbit for 15 days, making four small manoeuvres before successfully returning to Earth. The payload included Earth observation systems, a biological experiment, and microgravity research instruments. The retrievable capsule was recovered in China on July 18


1994 July 21 - . 10:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • Apstar 1 - . Mass: 1,383 kg (3,048 lb). Nation: China. Agency: APT Satellite Company. Program: Apstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 376. Spacecraft: HS 376. USAF Sat Cat: 23185 . COSPAR: 1994-043A. Apogee: 35,789 km (22,238 mi). Perigee: 35,785 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.12 min. Asia-Pacific communications. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 138 deg E in 1994-1999. As of 5 September 2001 located at 138.04 deg E drifting at 0.004 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 141.96E drifting at 0.002W degrees per day..

1994 November 29 - . 17:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Zhongxing 5 - . Payload: Chinasat 5. Mass: 2,230 kg (4,910 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. Completed Operations Date: 1994-12-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 23415 . COSPAR: 1994-080A. Apogee: 35,957 km (22,342 mi). Perigee: 35,225 km (21,887 mi). Inclination: 0.1500 deg. Period: 1,426.15 min.

    The first test launch of a DFH-3 by a CZ-3A launch vehicle was successful in attaining the proper transfer orbit, but during the subsequent manoeuvres to achieve geostationary orbit, the DFH-3 failed due to a malfunction of the satellite on-board propulsion system. The satellite was positioned at 132 deg E prior to the failure. As of 4 September 2001 located at 113.80 deg E drifting at 2.499 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 2 located at 90.02E drifting at 2.513E degrees per day.


1995 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5A.
  • Nation: China. Agency: XPRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1995 - . Launch Site: South China. LV Family: DF-15. Launch Vehicle: DF-15.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1995 January 25 - . 22:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2E. FAILURE: Shortcomings in the guidance system lead to the vehicle not anticipating the true effects of horizontal wind-shear once the mountains surrounding the launch site were cleared. This caused the nose fairing to collapse and the spacecraft to be destroyed.. Failed Stage: G.
  • Apstar 2 - . Mass: 2,830 kg (6,230 lb). Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Program: Apstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 601. Spacecraft: HS 601. Decay Date: 1995-01-25 .

    Because the Apstar failure happened a few seconds later than Optus, the consequences were catastrophic. The vehicle was destroyed, and the falling wreckage landed on a village down-range of the launch site, killing at least 20 and perhaps as many as 120 people.


1995 May 29 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1D.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1995 July 1 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1995 November 10 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1995 November 28 - . 11:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2E.
  • Asiasat 2 - . Mass: 3,485 kg (7,683 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Asiasat. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Asiasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: AS 7000. Spacecraft: AS 7000. USAF Sat Cat: 23723 . COSPAR: 1995-064A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min.

    TV; 24 C-band and 9 Ku-band transponders. Stationed at 100.5 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 100 deg E in 1995-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 100.49 deg E drifting at 0.015 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 100.49E drifting at 0.011W degrees per day.


1996 January 10 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1996 March 7 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Leping. LV Family: DF-15. Launch Vehicle: DF-15.
  • Near Taiwan - . Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1996 March 7 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Leping. LV Family: DF-15. Launch Vehicle: DF-15.
  • Near Taiwan - . Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1996 March 7 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Leping. LV Family: DF-15. Launch Vehicle: DF-15.
  • Near Taiwan - . Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1996 March 13 - . Launch Site: Leping. LV Family: DF-15. Launch Vehicle: DF-15.
  • Near Taiwan - . Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1996 June 6 - .
  • China agrees to world ban on atomic testing - . Nation: China.

1996 July 3 - . 10:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • Apstar 1A - . Mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: APT Satellite Company. Program: Apstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 376. Spacecraft: HS 376. USAF Sat Cat: 23943 . COSPAR: 1996-039A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,785 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. 24 C-band transponders; Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 134 deg E in 1996-1999. As of 6 September 2001 located at 134.02 deg E drifting at 0.013 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 129.99E drifting at 0.007E degrees per day..

1996 August 18 - . 10:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • Zhongxing 7 - . Payload: Zhongxing 7. Mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 376. Spacecraft: HS 376. USAF Sat Cat: 24282 . COSPAR: 1996-048A. Apogee: 46,499 km (28,893 mi). Perigee: 21,674 km (13,467 mi). Inclination: 26.3000 deg. Period: 1,350.20 min.

1996 October 20 - . 07:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • FSW-2 No. 3 - . Payload: FSW-2 No. 03. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 15.00 days. Decay Date: 1996-12-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 24634 . COSPAR: 1996-059A. Apogee: 133 km (82 mi). Perigee: 121 km (75 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 87.00 min. Final launch in the FSW series. Landed in China on November 4 after 15 days in orbit..

1996 November 28 - .
  • Death of Cai Jintao - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Cai Jintao. Chinese Engineer. Chinese communications and telemetry systems engineer..

1996 December 28 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1997 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5A.
  • Nation: China. Agency: XPRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1997 February 19 - .
  • Deng Xiaoping, Chinese leader, dead at 92 - . Nation: China.

1997 April 20 - .
  • Failed FSW Launch - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW.

    Repeated rumours appeared that a Chinese military satellite was launched or suffered a failure on this date. The story was first carried by Reuters in May 1997. In December 2000 it was again reported in a Chinese professional magazine that China launched its last recoverable satellite on April 20, 1997. The last official launch of the series was in October 1996.


1997 May 11 - . 16:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Zhongxing 6 - . Payload: Chinasat 6. Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 24798 . COSPAR: 1997-021A. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    The telecommunications satellite, the most sophisticated and complex satellite ever built in China, was equipped with 24 transponders used for television, digital transmission and other telecommunications services. It had a design life eight years. After over one year of tests the satellite was delivered to the end user, China Telecommunications Broadcast Satellite Corporation (Chinasat) on August 12 1998. A long term operation contract for the redesignated Chinasat-6 was signed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), Chinasat and the Xian Satellite Control Center. Chinasat-6 operated in geosynchronous orbit at 125 deg E in 1997-1999. As of 5 September 2001 located at 124.99 deg E drifting at 0.011 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 6 located at 123.93E drifting at 0.104W degrees per day.


1997 June 10 - . 12:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • FY-2A - . Payload: Fengyun 2A. Mass: 1,250 kg (2,750 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: SARTI. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-2. Spacecraft: FY-2. USAF Sat Cat: 24834 . COSPAR: 1997-029A. Apogee: 35,784 km (22,235 mi). Perigee: 35,783 km (22,234 mi). Inclination: 0.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    Geosynchronous weather satellite; also known as FY-2B. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 105 deg E in 1997-2000; 85 deg E in 2000.. The FY-2A stopped transmission in April 1998 but was put back into partial operation in December 1998. Its imager then failed completely on 30 September 1998 and it was retired in April 2000. As of 4 September 2001 located at 83.55 deg E drifting at 0.074 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 58.96E drifting at 0.025W degrees per day.


1997 October 16 - . 19:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Apstar 2R - . Mass: 3,700 kg (8,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: APT Satellite Company. Manufacturer: Palo Alto. Program: Apstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FS-1300. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 25010 . COSPAR: 1997-062A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,774 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Geosynchronous. Stationed over 76.5E Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 76 deg E in 1997-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 76.48 deg E drifting at 0.001 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 76.46E drifting at 0.002W degrees per day..

1997 November 1 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1D.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1997 December 1 - .
  • Chinese Astronauts Complete Training in Russia - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Li Qinglong, Wu Jie. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Two Chinese astronauts completed their training in Russia and returned to China. They would act as instructors for China's own astronaut training program. At the same time the largest thermal vacum test equipment in Asia finished construction..

1997 December 24 - . 23:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2M. FAILURE: DM-3 Stage failed, leaving spacecraft in geosynchronous transfer orbit.. Failed Stage: U.
  • Asiasat 3 - . Payload: HGS-1 / HS 601HP. Mass: 3,400 kg (7,400 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Asiasat. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Asiasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 601. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 25126 . COSPAR: 1997-086A. Apogee: 35,964 km (22,346 mi). Perigee: 35,612 km (22,128 mi). Inclination: 5.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min.

    The spacecraft was left in a high inclination useless orbit by a failure of the DM-3 stage and became an insurance writeoff. Two trips around the Moon to remove the inclination under its new owner (Hughes) saw it back into very limited service (as HGS-1) by August 1998 over the Indian Ocean and available for sale at bargain rates. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 150-154 deg W in 1998; 60 deg W in 1999. As of 5 September 2001 located at 59.68 deg W drifting at 0.024 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 8 located at 169.58W drifting at 0.011W degrees per day.


1998 March 19 - .
  • Beijing Space Conference - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    Chinese papers at the meeting sketched details of future planned missions. China was likely to begin its manned flights with a single orbit around Earth, and later launch its lunar 'quest'. Existing Chinese launchers had the capability to send scientific devices, but not humans, to the moon -- it could take up to eight years to design a lunar spacecraft. Feasibility studies on trips to the moon and Mars had begun. Participants called for greater international cooperation in space and the lifting of an apparent freeze on China's participation in major joint projects. They resented China's exclusion from the International Space Station.


1998 March 21 - .
  • China to Launch Lunar and Mars Probes - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Chinese Lunar Base. Spacecraft: Chinese Lunar Base.

    "China will actively participate in deep space exploration during the 21st century," said Mr Yuan Jiajun, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Space Technology. China also planned to launch two astrophysical satellites into low earth orbit, one in equatorial orbit and another in polar orbit.


1998 March 26 - .
  • Apstar 1A Hit by Mysterious Signal from Ground - . Nation: China.

    A mysterious signal hit one of the transmitters aboard the Apstar-1 telecommunications satellite on March 14, disrupting more than 400 securities companies' communications, cutting off service to more than 10 million pager users in China, and affecting China's earthquake monitoring systems. Technicians ruled out a problem with the satellite and tests showed the interference was earth-based. Service was restored to most users of the satellite by switching them to other channels. Apstar-1, the first comsat of Hong Kong based APT Satellite Holdings, was launched in 1994 by a Long March 3.


1998 April 12 - .
  • Timetable for Chinese Manned Flight - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. A Guangzhou newspaper said that the first Chinese astronaut would fly by 2001. It also mentioned lunar and space station plans. This was the one of a series of reports about Chinese space plans of the period..

1998 April 16 - .
  • US Congress Investgates Space Technology Exports to China - . Nation: China.

    Several US Congressional committees investigated the Clinton administration's policy of exporting space satellite technology to China, asserting it had helped China and other countries to develop and use nuclear missiles. Two US companies were being investegated by the Justice Department as well. Beijing denied that it had gotten any sensitive technology from US.


1998 April 21 - .
  • Chinese Manned Spacecraft Launch Set for 1999 - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    Preparations for the first test launch of China's first manned spacecraft were underway at the launch site, a Shanghai newspaper reported. It said the first flight would be launched in late 1999. The space cabin, telemetry system and power system had been developed in Shanghai.


1998 April 21 - .
  • China Completed New Wind Tunnels For Space Development - . Nation: China.

    Two special wind tunnels in southwest China's Sichuan Province were nearing completion. The new tunnels would be used for testing China's future space shuttle, launch vehicles, and strategic missiles. A high-frequency plasma wind tunnel and a supersonic flow wind tunnel were being built by China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center and would be the most advanced in Asia.


1998 April 22 - .
  • Chinese Astronauts Shown in Training - . Nation: China. A Guangzhou newspaper released a photo showing two Chinese astronauts wearing space suits in a vacum chamber. This was the first such photo released since the 1980's..

1998 May 30 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Zhongwei 1 - . Payload: A2100A. Mass: 2,984 kg (6,578 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Chinasat. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Chinastar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: AS 2100. Spacecraft: AS 2100. USAF Sat Cat: 25354 . COSPAR: 1998-033A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    Also known as Chinastar 1; comsat to serve China, India, Korea and Southeast Asia with 18 C-band and 20 Ku-band transponders. Operated by the China Orient Telecommunications Satellite Company, part of the Chinese telecommunications ministry. Zhongwei 1 and the CZ-3B's final liquid hydrogen upper stage were placed in an initial supersynchronous 216 x 85,035 km x 24.4 deg transfer orbit. Geostationary at 87.6 degrees E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 87 deg E in 1998-1999 As of 6 September 2001 located at 87.49 deg E drifting at 0.013 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 87.64E drifting at 0.010W degrees per day.


1998 June 1 - .
  • Beijing Space Technology Research and Test Center operational - . Nation: China.

    Phase I construction was completed of the new, large-scale Beijing Space Technology Research and Test Center, located in Tangjialing, northwest of Beijing. The center occupied 100 hectares and construction was begun in October 1994. The largest space center in China included spacecraft integration hangars, space environment and vibration test facilities, and a series of laboratories.


1998 July 18 - . 09:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Sinosat - . Payload: Spacebus 3000A. Mass: 2,820 kg (6,210 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Eurasspa. Manufacturer: Cannes. Program: Sinosat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Spacebus 3000. Spacecraft: Spacebus 3000 . USAF Sat Cat: 25404 . COSPAR: 1998-044A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    The CZ-3B's liquid hydrogen upper stage and the Sinosat were placed in a 609 x 35958 km x 19.0 deg geostationary transfer orbit at 09:45 GMT. The first two liquid apogee burns were carried out on July 19 and 21. Sinosat, an Alcatel Spacebus 3000, was built in Cannes and owned temporarily by EurasSpace, a joint venture between Daimler-Benz Aerospace and the China Aerospace Corporation. After on-orbit testing it was delivered to the Sino Satellite Communications Company of Shanghai for communications services in China. The satellite carried 24 C-band transponders and 14 Ku-band transponders which covered the entire Asia-Pacific region. With a design life span of 15 years, the satellite was to provide multiple data transfer services for China's financial and air transportation control systems, as well as the Shanghai Information Port project, Sinosat operated in geosynchronous orbit at 110.5 deg E in 1998-1999. As of 5 September 2001 located at 110.55 deg E drifting at 0.012 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 110.51E drifting at 0.001W degrees per day.


1998 November 19 - .
  • China Astronaut Training Group 1 selected. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Chen Quan, Deng Qingming, Fei Junlong, Jing Haipen, Liu Buoming, Liu Wang, Nie Haisheng, Pan Zhanchun, Yang Liwei, Yuhangyuan 1?, Yuhangyuan 2?, Zhai Zhigang, Zhang Xiaoguan, Zhao Chuandong.

    Selection of astronauts to fly the Project 921 / Shenzhou manned spacecraft began at the end of 1995. Only PLAAF pilots were considered. Review of service records identified 1504 candidates, further reduced to 886 after stricter screening. In the summer of 1996, 60 candidates passed initial testing at their home bases and were sent to Beijing for final tests and interviews. By April 1997 the candidate list had been pared down to 20, and the final 12 were selected at the end of 1997. The group was officially established in January 1998. In March, 1998, the two Chinese astronauts trained in Russia in 1996, who were also the trainers of this first group of 12 cosmonauts, joined the group officially as candidates for future spaceflights, bringing the total to 14.


1999 January 3 - .
  • US Says Chinese Obtained Secrets - . Nation: China.

    A special House committee found that technology transfers to China by Hughes Electronics and Loral Space and Communications harmed U.S. national security. The 700-page, five-volume report was classified. The Chinese government sharply denied allegations that it had mounted a 'serious and sustained' effort over the last 20 years to obtain militarily useful U.S. technology.


1999 January 6 - .
  • Plans for Chinese Manned Flight Officially Reported - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    The official Chinese Liberation Daily reported that a Chinese manned flight would take place "by the end of this century or the beginning of the next," . This would make China the first country in more than 30 years to join the United States and Russia in the exclusive club of manned mission launchers.


1999 January 8 - .
  • Chinese Module on ISS explored - . Nation: China. Program: ISS.

    It was reported that China and Russia once discussed docking a Chinese module to the Russian section of the International Space Station. Spare docking ports would provide attachment points for Ukrainian and Chinese modules. Such possibilities had been discussed at the highest political levels.


1999 January 18 - .
  • Chinese tracking fleet upgraded - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    A sixteen month overhaul of China's space tracking fleet was completed in Shanghai. The upgraded ships were capable of global tracking and control with a 400-fold increase in data transfer rates. The fleet was now ready for support of the first test launch of a Chinese manned spacecraft. To support this, for the first time three Yuanwang tracking ships would be deployed in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans.


1999 February 12 - .
  • China to Test Reusable Spacecraft at the end of 2000 - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    China planned to launch its own re-usable "space shuttle" with a maiden unmanned mission at the end of next year, said an astronomical engineer in charge of one of dozens of scientific research payloads that will be aboard. The engineer said the lift-capacity problems have already been resolved and he had been briefed on the cost of the Chinese shuttle but that he could not reveal it, as the information is classified. (AFP)


1999 February 24 - .
  • US Blocks Blocks AMPT communictions satellite project with China. - . Nation: China.

    The United States rejected a $450 million Hughes satellite deal with China over fears it could compromise U.S. national security. The APMT satellite was designed to provide mobile telephone links over much of Asia and was 51 percent owned by Chinese interests. This marked the end of Chinese-US commercial collaboration in space, with China thereafter concentrating on deals with European or other developing world partners.


1999 March 1 - .
  • Chinese Manned Space Plans - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    Zhang Heqi, the chief astronomer of the Chinese space program said that an earlier report regarding a Chinese 'shuttle' was incorrect - 'It is a manned spacecraft, not a shuttle'. There was to be an unmanned launch in one or two years. A manned launch would follow this test in the next few years.The first unmanned spacecraft might carry animals to pave the way for future manned flights. It was also reported that China had selected several astronaut candidates from PLA Air Force fighter pilots.


1999 March 5 - .
  • U.S. accuses China of stealing nuclear secrets - . Nation: China.

1999 March 11 - . LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Chinese Man-Rated Launch Vehicle Test Predicted - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. It was reported on the Internet that the maiden flight of a new version of the CZ-2E designed to carry a manned vehicle would be made by mid-1999..

1999 March 12 - .
  • China Proposes Ban on Space Weapons - . Nation: China. China, backed by Pakistan and Egypt, proposed a ban on weapons in outer space. Formal negotiations would take place via the UN Conference on Disarmament. The USA did not respond to China's proposal..

1999 March 21 - . 00:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2M.
  • Asiasat 3S - . Payload: HS 601HP. Mass: 3,463 kg (7,634 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Asiasat. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Asiasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 601. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 25657 . COSPAR: 1999-013A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    A replacement for Asiasat 3, placed in the wrong orbit by a Proton launch in 1997, Asiasat 3S carried C and Ku band transponders. The Blok DM3 upper stage placed it a 9,677 km x 35,967 km x 13.1 deg geosynchronous transfer orbit. Asiasat's on-board R4D apogee engine was to be used to raise perigee to geostationary altitude. Mass in transfer orbit was 3,463 kg, down to 2,500 kg after insertion in geostationary orbit. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 105 deg E from 1999. As of 4 September 2001 located at 105.52 deg E drifting at 0.008 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 105.46E drifting at 0.017W degrees per day.


1999 May 1 - . LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Manned Program Delayed - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Far eastern newspapers reported an accident at Jiuquan Launch Center late May 1999. It was said that a fuel depot exploded, resulting in casualties and delaying the first manned vehicle launch originally scheduled for October..

1999 May 10 - . 01:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • FY-1C - . Payload: Feng Yun 1C. Mass: 900 kg (1,980 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-1. Spacecraft: FY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 25730 . COSPAR: 1999-025A. Apogee: 880 km (540 mi). Perigee: 846 km (525 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 102.20 min. Operational weather satellite. First launch of stretched CZ-4B booster. After retirement the satellite was destroyed in the first test of the Chinese ASAT weapon on 11 January 2007..
  • SJ-5 - . Payload: Shi Jian 5. Mass: 500 kg (1,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 25731 . COSPAR: 1999-025B. Apogee: 865 km (537 mi). Perigee: 841 km (522 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 102.00 min. Research satellite carried as a secondary payload to study the radiation belts..

1999 May 28 - .
  • Cox Report Released - . Nation: China. US Congressional panel under Christopher Cox released a 700-page report claiming China had stolen American secrets in the fields of nuclear weapons, rocket and space technology, and supercomputers. China angrily denied the allegations..

1999 June 9 - . LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • CZ-2F Photograph Appears on the Internet - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    A photograph of the CZ-2F manned spacecraft launch vehicle and its vertical assembly building was posted anonymously on the Internet. It was said to have been taken in May 1998 at the Jiuquan launch site by a contruction contractor. Some believed the photograph to be a phony but events later proved it to be real and a deliberate leak.


1999 June 28 - .
  • Hainan Commercial Space Port Proposed - . Nation: China.

    A Chinese company proposed a project to build a space port in Hainan. The $500 million project would include a launch complex, a tourist center and an industrial park. Hainan was already used as a sounding rocket launch site. It provided the most southern possible launch site on Chinese territory, which would maximise payload when launching geosynchronous satellites.


1999 July 11 - .
  • Project 921-2 Go-Ahead - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Project 921-2.

    China initiated the second phase of the National Manned Space program - Project 921-2. Phase 2 would focus on a manned 'space lab' and related key technologies. A China Academy of Science research team, including six subgroups on specific topics, was established in February 1999 to issue a requirements document. The new Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences was also involved.


1999 July 16 - .
  • Chinese Manned Program Announcement - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    Zhang Lihui, Director of Research and Development at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), said that a development plan for manned-space flight technology was issued by the Chinese State Council in 1992 and that China was on track to launch a manned space flight by early in the next century. This was the first direct official acknowledgement of such a program.


1999 July 18 - .
  • New Tracking Ship Joins Yuan Wang Fleet - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    A new space tracking ship, Yuan Wang 4, was delivered to China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation. This was the fourth tracking ship in China's Yuan Wang space tracking fleet. The Yuan Wang 4 tracking ship was converted from the scientific survey ship Xiang Yang Hong 10. The announcment also contained the second announcement that the fleet would deploy for a major new operation (a test of a manned spacecraft) within the next year. The Yuan Wang 4 was 156.09 m long, 20.6 m wide along the mold-line, and had a displacement of 10,895 tons.


1999 August 2 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1999 August 15 - . LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • China Upgrades Launch Facilities - . Nation: China.

    Tang Xianming, Director of the Xichang Launch Center, confirmed the construction of a new Vertical Assembly Facility at the Jiuquan Launch Center. He also affirmed that China would continue to use the Xichang Launch Center, which would be upgraded with improved data processing and control equipment.


1999 August 31 - .
  • China and Russia Sign Space Co-operation Agreement - . Nation: China.

    China and Russia signed a new agreement in Beijing on the co-operation in the peaceful space exploration. Joint research would be conducted in telecommunication systems, Earth surface monitoring, and satellite navigation. The agreement also covered scientific research aboard the Mir space station, but not visits of Chinese cosmonauts to Mir. It was also reported that Russia was working with China not only on design of the new manned spacecraft, but also on the 921-2 space station.


1999 October 14 - . 03:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • CBERS-1 ZY-1 FM1 - . Payload: Zi Yuan 1. Mass: 1,450 kg (3,190 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: CAST, INP. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Phoenix Eye. Spacecraft: Phoenix Eye. USAF Sat Cat: 25940 . COSPAR: 1999-057A. Apogee: 780 km (480 mi). Perigee: 773 km (480 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 100.40 min.

    China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite. China's first earth resources satellite, known as ZY-1, weighed 1,540 kilograms. Chief designer was Chen Yiyuan. The satellite, a joint project of China and Brazil, was designed to gather information on the environment, agriculture and urban planning through remote sensing images and data transmitted to China, Brazil and other countries. Planned lifetime was two years. The satellite circled the Earth 14 times a day and the groundtrack repeated after 26 days. By 23 February 2000 it had taken more than 20,000 high quality images. It was formally handed over for operational use on March 2 2000. The High Resolution CCD Camera had a resolution of 20 meters in the visible spectrum. The camera could point up to 32 degrees to either side of vertical, imaging the earth's surface stereoscopically. After 177 days the Wide Field Imager failed in early May 2000. Other devices, including the high resolution CCD camera, continue to work normally.


1999 October 22 - .
  • China Plans Exploration of Moon and Mars in 21st Century - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Chinese Lunar Base. Spacecraft: Chinese Lunar Base.

    A national conference of space scientists held in southern Beihai, Guangxi, said that the Moon and Mars were the 'two big targets' for the country's space programme in the 21st century. Ye Zili, the China Space Science Association's General Secretary, said that dozens of plans and proposals for the two projects had been put forward. However no substantial government funding for such projects was to be available in the immediate future.


1999 November 19 - . 22:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Shenzhou - . Mass: 7,600 kg (16,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: CALT. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 0.88 days. Decay Date: 1999-11-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 25956 . COSPAR: 1999-061A. Apogee: 315 km (195 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 42.6000 deg. Period: 89.60 min.

    The unmanned first test flight of a prototype of the Chinese Project 921-1 spacecraft took place 49 days after the planned date of October 1, 1999. Shenzhou separated from its launch vehicle and went into orbit about ten minutes after lift-off. The spacecraft was controlled from the new Beijing Aerospace Directing and Controlling Centre. The spacecraft did not manoeuvre during the flight. The first attempt to return the spacecraft to earth came on orbitt 12, but the retrofire command would not be accepted by the spacecraft's computer. A retry on the next orbit also failed.

    The Yuanwang-3 tracking ship off the coast of Namibia picked up the spacecraft's signal at 18:49 UT, and commanded retro-fire. This time the spacecraft accepted the command, which probably saved the entire program. The spacecraft passed out of range of the tracking ship nine minutes later. Its trajectory arced over Africa, skimmed the coast of the Arabian peninsula, and then over Pakistan, before re-entering over Tibet.

    Following re-entry, the drogue chute deployed at an altitude of 30 km with the capsules soft-landing rockets firing 1.5 m above the ground. The capsule landed at 41 deg N, 105 deg E, (415 km East of its launch pad and 110 km north-west of Wuhai, Inner Mongolia), at November 20 19:41 UT. The spacecraft had completed 14 orbits of the earth in 21 hours and 11 minutes.

    After the flight it was reported that not a single primary spacecraft system had failed, so none of the back-up systems were tested. The touchdown point was only 12 km from the predicted position. The soft landing braking rocket worked well - no damage was found to the capsule structure, heat shield or the seals. The jettisoned heat shield, parachute hatch, and drogue chute were found within 5 km of the landing point. The orbital module, which separated prior to retro-fire, continued in controlled flight until 27 November, when it decayed and reentered the atmosphere. A primary payload returned by Shenzhou were 100 kg of seeds, considered valuable to the Chinese after one day of exposure to the space environment. The Chinese space tracking fleet returned from the Shenzhou mission between 12 December 1999 and 4 January 2000. During their 259-day voyage, the four ships traveled 185,000 km and experienced some heavy seas while tracking and communicating with the Shenzhou for a total of 150 minutes. Additional Details: here....


1999 November 30 - .
  • Shenzhou Chief Designer Revealed - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Qi Faren. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    Qi Faren, the General Designer of the Shenzhou had participated in the design of China's first satellite and was appointed the general designer of Chinese spacecraft in 1992. During the ensuing seven years, Qi directed and co-ordinated his thousand-strong team to '...make a breakthrough in China's manned space travel technology. We are now losing no time in furthering our research. We plan to send humans into space as soon as possible'.


1999 December 15 - .
  • China Has No Shuttle Program - . Nation: China.

    There is no a shuttle program in China, stated Liu Jiyuan, former president of China Aerospace Corporation, adding that the formal shuttle project had not started. He also said that the first Shenzhou manned flight would depends on the results of unmanned tests, and that no animal flights were planned.


1999 December 25 - .
  • Chinese Military Space Research Center Formed - . Nation: China.

    China formed a military space research center at the People Liberation Army's Arms and Command Technologies College. The center would study military space technologies including space launch operations and space war. It was equipped with various space simulation facilities.


2000 January 4 - .
  • Chinese tracking fleet returns - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    The Chinese space tracking ship "Yuanwang 3" has returned to the Jiangnan Port of Nanjing in East China's Jiangsu Province after successfully completing its mission with China's first experimental spacecraft "Shenzhou." The other three ships, Yuanwang 1, 2 and 4, returned from their missions earlier. During their 259-day voyage, the four ships traveled some 62, 000 nautical miles and experienced some heavy seas while tracking and communicating with the "Shenzhou" for a total of 150 minutes. (People's Daily) --- note the December 12 news (all 4 ships return) on this site is not precise.


2000 January 25 - . 16:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Zhongxing 22 - . Payload: Chinasat 7 / Feng Huo 1-1. Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: CAST. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 26058 . COSPAR: 2000-003A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 3.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    First Chinese military communications satellite. First of the Feng Huo series for secure digital data and voice tactical military communications. Stationed at 98 deg E. The first in a planned constellation of satellites to be launched through 2010. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 98 deg E in 2000. As of 5 September 2001 located at 98.03 deg E drifting at 0.005 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 97.95E drifting at 0.009W degrees per day.


2000 February 8 - .
  • Discovery of GRV 99027 Meteorite (Mars Meteorite) - . Nation: China.

2000 April 6 - .
  • Lockheed charged on rocket technology transfer to China - . Nation: China.

    Lockheed Martin was charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act by assisting China in redesigning their apogee kick motor (EPKM) for the Asiasat-2 communications satellite. This was denied by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which said that the EPKM was of totally indigenous design.


2000 May 28 - . LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: KT-1.
  • China to Develop Solid Fuel Launch Vehicle - . Nation: China. China established the Space Solid Fuel Rocket Carrier Co., Ltd., to develop the new SLV-1 launch vehicle. This would be a mobile, partially reusable small space launcher..

2000 June 25 - . 11:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3.
  • FY-2 - . Mass: 1,250 kg (2,750 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-2. Spacecraft: FY-2. USAF Sat Cat: 26382 . COSPAR: 2000-032A. Apogee: 35,790 km (22,230 mi). Perigee: 35,786 km (22,236 mi). Inclination: 0.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min.

    Second Fengyun-2 weather satellite, replacing the first FY-2 (retired in April after a three year service life). The spin-stabilised FY-2 fired its solid apogee motor early on Jun 26. By July 3, it was in a 35,791 x 35,804 km x 1.1 deg orbit drifting over the Pacific. Stationed at 104 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 110 deg E in 2000. As of 5 September 2001 located at 104.56 deg E drifting at 0.030 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 34.70W drifting at 0.629W degrees per day.


2000 June 28 - . 10:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Tsinghua - . Mass: 50 kg (110 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Tsinghua. Manufacturer: Surrey. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SSTL-70. Spacecraft: SSTL-70. USAF Sat Cat: 26385 . COSPAR: 2000-033B. Apogee: 713 km (443 mi). Perigee: 687 km (427 mi). Inclination: 98.1397 deg. Period: 98.68 min.

    Tsinghua University of Beijing satellite equipped with an imager, communications payload, and momentum wheels for 3-axis stabilisation. The 50 kg, 0.69 x 0.36 x 0.36m box-shaped satellite used a standard Surrey SSTL microsat bus.Tsinghua-1 was the first demonstrator for the planned Disaster Monitoring Constellation and carried a multi-spectral Earth imaging camera providing 39-metre nadir ground resolution in 3 spectral bands. The satellite also carried out research in low Earth orbit using digital store-and-forward communications, a digital signal processing (DSP) experiment, a Surrey-built GPS space receiver and a new 3-axis microsat attitude control experiment. Tsinghua-1 used the SGR-10, with 12 channels and equipped with two receive antennas, to investigate the use of GPS signals in microsat on-board attitude and orbit determination. In October 2000 Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) released a picture of Tsinghua-1 taken in orbit by the SNAP-1 6.5 kg nanosatellite.


2000 July 26 - .
  • Russia seeks help to keep GLONASS network operating - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Glonass. Spacecraft: Glonass.

    Russia invited China to participate in financing a new group of Glonass satellites. An operational system would require 24 satellites to be in operation. However by mid-2000 there were only 14 satellites available, and only nine fully operating. The system would require 1.5 billion rubles a year to operate and replenish the satellite constellaton.


2000 August 15 - . LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: KT-1.
  • KT-1 solid rocket launcher - . Nation: China. China completed the overall design of the rocket engine that is to be used on its first all-solid space launch vehicle..

2000 September 1 - . 03:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • ZY-2C - . Payload: Zi Yuan 2. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: CAST. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-3. USAF Sat Cat: 26481 . COSPAR: 2000-050A. Apogee: 501 km (311 mi). Perigee: 489 km (303 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.43 min.

    The ZY-2 (Ziyuan-2 ('Resource-2'), while disguised as a civilian earth monitoring system, was actually code-named Jianbing-3 and was China's first high-resolution military imaging satellite. The cover story of the official Xinhua news agency was that the civilian remote sensing system would be used primarily in territorial surveying, city planning, crop yield assessment, disaster monitoring and space science experimentation. However the satellite was placed at a much lower altitude than the ZY-1 satellite and US intelligence sources indicated that it was a photo-reconnaissance satellite for exclusively military purposes, such as targeting missiles at US and Taiwanese forces. The new satellite was believed to employ digital-imaging technology and to have a resolution of 2 m or less. The satellite was designed and built by the Chinese Academy of Space Technology and was developed indigenously. It was said to be more advanced than earlier sensing satellites and was expected to have an orbital life of two years. The camera provided more than three times the resolution of the ZY-1 earth resources satellite. The Zi Yuan 2 satellite may have used the CBERS Sino-Brazilian bus of the earlier ZY-1. However it was also said to be of new design and demonstrated the capability to maneuver in orbit, adjusting its orbit after launch. In October 2000 Chinese scientists denied that the ZY-2 satellite had a military mission. It was said to be a remote-sensing satellite equipped with CCD cameras and an infrared multispectral scanner that could only identify objects on the ground with a resolution of several dozen meters to 1 km.


2000 September 21 - . LV Family: CZ-NGLV. Launch Vehicle: CZ-NGLV-320.
  • Chinese Rocket Plans - . Nation: China.

    Chief Designer of Chinese rockets Long Lehao described China's three-phase future space launcher plan. Phase 1, 2001-2003: Modify existing launchers to increase their reliability and payload capacity. Phase 2, by 2005: Develop non-toxic, non-polluting launchers, and increase low-Earth-orbit launch capacity to over 20 tonnes and geosynchronous transfer orbit capacity from the current 5.5 tonnes to about 14 tonnes. Phase 3: Develop a recoverable launch vehicle with lower launch costs.


2000 October 14 - .
  • China Reveals New Launcher Detail - . Nation: China.

    During the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) annual congress in Rio de Janeiro, China unveiled deatils of its new CZ-5 heavy launch vehicle family. Powered by kerosene/LOX/LH2 engines and four strap-on boosters, the new 800-ton, 50-55-meter high launcher would be capable of lifting 23 tonnes into LEO and 11 tonnes into geostationary transfer orbit. The CZ-2E(A), equipped with new avionics from the man-rated CZ-2F, was to be tested by 2003. The CZ-1D small launcher was slated to make its first flight in 2001, while yet another small launcher, a 4 stage solid rocket, was under design.


2000 October 19 - .
  • No immediate Chinese lunar landing plans - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Chinese Lunar Base. Spacecraft: Chinese Lunar Base. Chinese scientists clarifed that their space robotics research was purely academic and that there was no officially authorised Chinese lunar landing program..

2000 October 30 - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou 1A - . Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CNSA. Manufacturer: CAST. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 26599 . COSPAR: 2000-069A. Apogee: 35,805 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,774 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 2.6000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min.

    China's first navigation satellite, developed by CAST/Beijing. The satellite, the first in the Beidou-1 constellation, was placed in an initial 195 x 41889 km x 25.0 deg orbit geostationary transfer orbit before entering its final geosynchornous orbit at around 05:00 GMT on November 6. Stationed at 140 deg E, still maintaining its position within 0.1 deg as of 2007. No longer in use as of 2009.


2000 November 4 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2000 November 7 - . LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: KT-1.
  • Solid Launcher Officially Named - . Nation: China. China's new solid small space launcher was officially named "Kaituozhe-1" (Explorer-1). The launcher would be capable of putting 100 kg into polar orbit and was scheduled to make its first flight in 2002..

2000 November 16 - . LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: KT-1.
  • Kaituozhe-1 (KT-1) small launcher passes design review - . Nation: China. A 14-member review committee concluded that the overall design of the KT-1 launch vehicle was feasible and could meet the requirement for launching micro-sats. The project officially entered the engineering phase..

2000 December 13 - .
  • China Tracking Station in Namibia - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou.

    China and Namibia signed an agreement to build a tracking, telemetry and space research station (TTST) in Namibia to support China's manned space program. The station would cover an area of 150 by 85 metres and consist of an administration building and two antennae.


2000 December 16 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2000 December 20 - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou 1B - . Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CNSA. Manufacturer: CAST. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 26643 . COSPAR: 2000-082A. Apogee: 35,821 km (22,258 mi). Perigee: 35,753 km (22,215 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    Second Beidou-1 geosynchronous navigation satellite. The CZ-3A rocket's third stage put Beidou in geostationary transfer orbit at around 16:42 GMT. The Beidou satellite was based on the DFH-3 comsat and had a mass of around 2200 kg including its FY-25 solid apogee motor. On December 25 Beidou was in a 190 x 41870 km x 25.0 deg transfer orbit. The launch of this second Beidou completed the prototype two-satellite navigational system which was to provide positional information for highway, railway and marine transportation. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 80 deg E, still maintaining its position within 0.1 deg as of 2007. Retired after launch of the Beidou-2 geosynchronous satellites in 2010.


2001 January 6 - .
  • Yuan Wang deployed for Shenzhou 2 flight - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. China reported that the four Yuan Wang tracking ships celebrated the New Year on remote oceans. Yuan Wang 1 and 2 were in the Pacific Ocean, Yuan Wang 4 had arrived in the Indian Ocean, and Yuan Wang 3 was en route to the Atlantic Ocean..

2001 January 9 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Shenzhou 2 - . Mass: 7,400 kg (16,300 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: CALT. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 6.77 days. Decay Date: 2001-01-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 26664 . COSPAR: 2001-001A. Apogee: 345 km (214 mi). Perigee: 330 km (200 mi). Inclination: 42.6000 deg. Period: 91.30 min.

    The second unmanned test flight of the Shenzhou manned spacecraft design carried a monkey, a dog and a rabbit in a test of the spaceship's life support systems. Shenzhou 2 was the first test of an all-up flight model of the spacecraft, with a functioning orbital module. It was also the most ambitious space science laboratory ever launched by China. It carried 64 scientific payloads: 15 in the re-entry module, 12 in the orbital module and 37 on the forward external pallet. These included a micro-gravity crystal growing device; life sciences experiments with 19 species of animals and plants, cosmic ray and particle detectors; and China's first gamma ray burst detectors.

    The launch was originally scheduled for January 5, but the second stage of the launch vehicle was dented by an access platform while being prepared for roll-out in the vehicle assembly building. This caused several days of delay until it was cleared for flight. Shenzhou 2 made three orbit-raising manoeuvres during its flight, reaching a 330 x 345 km orbit by the end of the initial phase of the mission. Ninety minutes before landing the orbital module depressurised, and the spacecraft went briefly out of control. However this was regained after venting of the atmosphere from the module ended. The descent module and service modules separated from the forward orbital module and external pallet normally. After retrofire by the service module, it separated and the descent module landed at 11:22 GMT on January 16 in Inner Mongolia. Lack of post-recovery photographs led to speculation that the recovery may not have been completely successful. The Shenzhou orbital module had its own solar panels and remained operational in orbit, conducting scientific experiments. It was actively controlled for six months, maneuvering in orbit several times (reaching a final orbit of 394 x 405 km). It then was allowed to decay and reentered the atmosphere at 09:05 GMT on August 24, 2001. The reentry point was near 33.1 deg S in latitude and 260.4 deg E in longitude, over the western Pacific Ocean between Easter Island and Chile.


2001 February 25 - . LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: KT-1.
  • Kaituozhe 1 Third Stage Engine Successfully Tested - . Nation: China. The solid engine used on the third stage of the Kaituozhe 1 launch vehicle performed its first ground test firing. The test was successful and all parameters meet design specifications..

2001 April 23 - . LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: KT-1.
  • Kaitozhe 1 First Commercial Launch in 2002 - . Nation: China. Kaituozhe 1's first commercial launch was scheduled for 2002..

2001 July 24 - .
  • Chinese Lunar Exploration Plan - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Chinese Lunar Base. Spacecraft: Chinese Lunar Base.

    A Chinese aerospace magazine indicated that Chinese scientists had drafted a four-phase long term plan.

    • Phase 1, by 2005: Lunar flyby or orbiting satellite missions, perhaps using the DFH-3 bus.
    • Phase 2, by 2010: unmanned soft-landing missions. Phase 3, by 2020: Robotic exploration using surface rovers. Phase 4, by 2030: Lunar sample return missions.
    Only after 2030 would manned flights and construction of a lunar base begin.

2001 July 30 - .
  • ESA To Help China Join ISS - . Nation: China. Program: ISS. ESA and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) were reported to have reached 'an intention to collaborate' to inclusion of China in the International Space Station project..

2001 August 21 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-3.
  • Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

2001 November 2 - .
  • Namibia Tracking Station Completed - . Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. China completed construction of a tracking, telemetry and command station in Swakopmund, Namibia, Africa..

2002 January 3 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: DF-4. FAILURE: Launch vehicle failure..
  • CZ-1 Missile Technology Test - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Chinese People's Liberation Army test launch with dummy warhead. Suborbital - failure. Delayed from early November 2001..

2002 March 25 - . 14:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Shenzhou 3 - . Mass: 7,800 kg (17,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAS. Manufacturer: CALT. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 6.78 days. Decay Date: 2002-04-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 27397 . COSPAR: 2002-014A. Apogee: 379 km (235 mi). Perigee: 374 km (232 mi). Inclination: 42.4000 deg. Period: 92.10 min.

    The third unmanned test of the Shenzhou spacecraft was delayed almost three months when a defective connector was found on the booster after roll-out to the pad in January 2002. The vehicle was disassembled, and all suspect connectors were replaced. The stand-down also revealed ten previously undetected defects in the space capsule. The spacecraft, the first all-up flight model with a functioning (but deactivated) launch escape system, was finally launched and placed into an initial 197 x 326 km x 42.4 deg orbit at 1425 UTC. At about 2120 UTC Shenzhou used its own engine to raise its orbit to 332 x 337 km. The capsule included a dummy astronaut instrumented to monitor life support systems. The descent module returned to Earth on April 1 at 0851 UTC, landing in Inner Mongolia. The orbital module remained in orbit to carry out further experiments, finally being deorbited on 12 November 2002. The spacecraft carried 44 scientific payloads, including a medium-resolution imaging radiometer developed by Chinese Academy of Sciences, installed on the instrument pallet atop the orbital module.


2002 May 15 - . 01:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • HY-1A - . Payload: Haiyang 1. Mass: 367 kg (809 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST968. Spacecraft: CAST968. USAF Sat Cat: 27430 . COSPAR: 2002-024A. Apogee: 799 km (496 mi). Perigee: 785 km (487 mi). Inclination: 98.4000 deg. Period: 100.70 min.

    The HY-1 (Haiyang-1) marine observation satellite separated shortly after the FY-1D. The 360 kg HY-1 was based on the SJ-5 bus and carried an IR radiometer and CCD imager for oceanographic studies. Between May 21 and May 26, HY-1 lowered its orbit to 793 x 799 km using on-board propulsion.

  • FY-1D - . Mass: 960 kg (2,110 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-1. Spacecraft: FY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 27431 . COSPAR: 2002-024B. Apogee: 873 km (542 mi). Perigee: 850 km (520 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 102.20 min.

    The second stage separated six minutes after launch, putting the stack on a suborbital trajectory. After a brief coast up to 860 km the third stage fired at around 0200 UTC to circularize the orbit. FY-1D, a 950 kg weather satellite with a 10-channel radiometer, separated from the stack followed by a small adapter. The final stage was left in a slightly lower 812 x 883 km orbit.


2002 July 1 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2002 September 15 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: KT-1. FAILURE: Second stage failure.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • HTSTL-1 - . Mass: 50 kg (110 lb). Nation: China. Manufacturer: Tsinghua. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HTSTL. Spacecraft: HTSTL. First attempted launch of the all-solid-propellant KT-1 launch vehicle. The 50 kg test satellite, built by university students, was to have been placed in a 300 km polar orbit..

2002 October 27 - . 03:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • ZY-2B - . Payload: Zi Yuan 2-2. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-3. Decay Date: 2015-01-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 27550 . COSPAR: 2002-049A. Apogee: 483 km (300 mi). Perigee: 470 km (290 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.10 min.

    JB-3 2 was nominally a Chinese (PRC) remote sensing satellite, although US intelligence sources indicated it had primarily an intelligence imaging mission. JB-3 2 was the name adopted by the USSPACECOM. Most news reports from China and elsewhere use different names: ZY-2B (acronym for ZiYuan-2B, translated as Resource-2B), and Zhong Guo Zi Yuan Er Hao, translated as China Resource 2. No information was available on the instruments onboard the JB-3 2, but officially it was intended 'for territorial survey, environment monitoring and protection, urban planning, crop yield assessment, disaster monitoring, and space scientific experiments'. The initial orbital parameters of this sun-synchronous satellite were period 94.1 min, apogee 483 km, perigee 470 km, and inclination 97.4°.


2002 November 23 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2002 December 1 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2002 December 29 - . 16:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Shenzhou 4 - . Mass: 7,794 kg (17,182 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAS. Manufacturer: CALT. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 6.77 days. Decay Date: 2003-01-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 27630 . COSPAR: 2002-061A. Apogee: 337 km (209 mi). Perigee: 331 km (205 mi). Inclination: 42.4000 deg. Period: 91.20 min.

    Final unmanned test of the Shenzhou spacecraft. First night launch of the CZ-2F was viewed by Party leaders on a very cold but clear night. The spacecraft carried fifty-two science payloads in four main areas: microwave Earth observation, space environment monitoring, microgravity fluid physics, and biological technology research. The spacecraft's reentry capsule was successfully recovered on 5 January 2003 at 1116 UT. The Chinese released the news and photographs of the capsule in the dusk snow only an hour later. The landing site was 40 km from Hohhot (40.51deg N, 111.38 deg E). As in prior missions, the orbital module continued in orbit. Chinese astronauts trained on the actual flight hardware before the launch and it was officially announced that this successful mission set the stage for a first Chinese manned spaceflight in the second half of 2003. Western observors noted that the orbit and ground track allowed launch of a second rendezvous vehicle, an indication of future manned space station missions. Shenzhou 4 carried 52 scientific payloads including a microwave radiometer using a reflector antenna, installed on top of the orbital module.


2003 April 12 - . 00:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. Launch Pad: SLC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas 3B.
  • AsiaSat 4 - . Payload: HS 601HP / AsiaSat 1R. Mass: 4,042 kg (8,911 lb). Nation: China. Agency: AsiaSat. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Asiasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 601. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 27718 . COSPAR: 2003-014A. Apogee: 35,805 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,772 km (22,227 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min.

    Delayed from May 28, 2002, and January 13, February 5, and April 11, 2003. AsiaSat 4 was designed to provide broadcast, telecommunications and broadband multimedia services to the Asia Pacific region, and direct-to-home broadcast servic-es to Hong Kong, from its orbital position of 122 deg É East longitude.The satellite generated up to 9,600 watts using two sun-tracking four-panel solar wings covered with triple-junction gallium arsenide solar cells. AsiaSat 4 was to operate in C-band and Ku-band. The satellite carried 28 active transponders with six spares in C-band, powered by 55-watt traveling-wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs), and 20 active transponders with four spares in Ku-band, powered by 140-watt TWTAs. The C-band payload was designed to offer pan-Asian coverage, similar to AsiaSat 3S, also a 601HP model. The Ku-band payload provided high power, and spot beams for selected areas in either the Fixed Satellite Service frequency band or in the Broadcast Satellite Service frequency band. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 122.23E drifting at 0.011W degrees per day.


2003 May 24 - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou 2A - . Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 27813 . COSPAR: 2003-021A. Apogee: 35,836 km (22,267 mi). Perigee: 35,760 km (22,220 mi). Inclination: 0.3000 deg. Period: 1,436.70 min.

    Navigation satellite, joined Beidou 1A and 1B launched in December 2000. This third satellite was considered a back-up element, Positioned at 110 deg E, still maintaining its position within 0.1 deg as of 2007. Retired after launch of the Beidou-2 geosynchronous satellites in 2010.


2003 September 16 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: KT-1. FAILURE: Fourth stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Kaituozhe 1 - . Payload: PS-2. Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: HTSTL. Spacecraft: HTSTL. Second attempted launch of KT-1. The launch was intended to place a 40 kg microsatellite called PS-2 into a 300 x 300 km polar orbit..

2003 October 15 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Shenzhou 5 Orbital Module - . Mass: 1,100 kg (2,400 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou OM. Decay Date: 2004-05-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 28049 . COSPAR: 2003-045G. Apogee: 347 km (215 mi). Perigee: 338 km (210 mi). Inclination: 42.4000 deg. Period: 91.40 min.

    The Shenzhou 5 orbital module was essential an unmanned military reconnaisance satellite. It was never entered by the astronaut during the mission, and was equipped with two high resolution (1.6 m) surveillance cameras. It was expected to operate until at least spring 2004.

  • Shenzhou 5 - . Crew: Yang Liwei. Backup Crew: Zhai Zhigang. Support Crew: Nie Haisheng. Mass: 7,840 kg (17,280 lb). Nation: China. Related Persons: Nie Haisheng, Yang Liwei, Zhai Zhigang. Agency: PLAAF. Manufacturer: CALT. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Shenzhou 5. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 0.89 days. Decay Date: 2003-10-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 28043 . COSPAR: 2003-045A. Apogee: 336 km (208 mi). Perigee: 332 km (206 mi). Inclination: 42.4192 deg. Period: 91.20 min.

    China's first manned spaceflight began with the lift-off of the CZ-2F booster into the clear blue morning sky. All went according to plan and China's first man in space, Yang Liwei, entered an initial 200 km x 343 km orbit ten minutes after launch. The naval vessels standing buy for rescue in the Sea of Japan were called back to port.

    The highly conservative mission plan was for Yang to remain in the Shenzhou re-entry capsule for the entire 21-hour mission, and not to enter the orbital module. He had two rest periods of three hours each, and was scheduled to eat once or twice meals of what was said to be a superior form of Chinese space food. Frequent communications sessions, including colour television links to the spacecraft, were made possible by China's four tracking ships deployed in the oceans of the world.

    As the spacecraft was in its 21st orbit, the orbital module separated. It would stay in the 343 km orbit for a planned six-month military imaging reconnaissance mission. Retrofire was commanded via a tracking ship in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa. Shenzhou-5 landed only 4.8 km from the aim-point in Inner Mongolia with the parachute being sighted by the ground recovery forces prior to landing. Yang landed after 21 hours 23 minutes aloft.


2003 October 21 - . 03:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • CBERS-2 ZY-1 FM2 - . Payload: Zi Yuan 1B. Mass: 1,450 kg (3,190 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAS. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Phoenix Eye. Spacecraft: Phoenix Eye. USAF Sat Cat: 28057 . COSPAR: 2003-049A. Apogee: 750 km (460 mi). Perigee: 731 km (454 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 99.60 min. Delayed from late 2001, September 3 2002, March 14 and September 2003. Second China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS 2)..
  • Chuangxin-1 - . Payload: Chuang Xin 1. Mass: 90 kg (198 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAS. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CX-1. Spacecraft: CX-1. USAF Sat Cat: 28058 . COSPAR: 2003-049B. Apogee: 759 km (471 mi). Perigee: 686 km (426 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 99.20 min.

    Chuangxin-1 (or Innovation-1) was China's first experimental small satellite for store-and-forward short message data communications in low Earth orbit. With a mass less than 100 kg, the Chuangxin-1 was developed in light of national strategic demands. Starting from 1999 with support of the national Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the project was carried out jointly by researchers from the CAS Shanghai Institute of Microsystem Information Technology and the CAS Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics. The satellite used spread spectrum communication and subsystems included a communication transponder, onboard computer, attitude control, energy source, thermal control, and structure. The mission was to demonstrate data communications for such sectors as traffic and transportation, environment protection, oil and gas transportation, flood and drought control, detection of forest fire and earthquake monitoring.


2003 November 2 - . 07:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • FSW-3 No. 1 - . Payload: FSW-18, FSW-3.1, Jianbing 4. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SAST. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Decay Date: 2003-12-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 28078 . COSPAR: 2003-051A. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi). Perigee: 141 km (87 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 87.50 min. Expected to have been long-awaited 'seeds in space' mission but official announcements spoke only of photography..

2003 November 14 - . 16:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Zhongxing 20 - . Payload: Chinasat 20 / Shentong 1-1. Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 28082 . COSPAR: 2003-052A. Apogee: 35,811 km (22,251 mi). Perigee: 35,762 km (22,221 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Military communications satellite. First of the Shentong series operated by the Chinese Army to provide secure voice and data communications services for ground users using Ku-band. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 103.00E drifting at 0.010W degrees per day..

2003 December 29 - . 19:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. Launch Pad: LC1?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Tan Ce 1 - . Payload: Double Star 1, DSP-E. Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. Decay Date: 2007-10-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 28140 . COSPAR: 2003-061A. Apogee: 78,051 km (48,498 mi). Perigee: 555 km (344 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Equatorial member of a pair of Chinese-European magnetospheric research satellites carrying surplus instrumentation from the ESA Cluster program. First CZ-2C launch from Xichang..

2004 Q1 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2004 April 18 - . 15:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. Launch Pad: LC1?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Tansuo 1 - . Payload: Shiyan 1. Mass: 204 kg (449 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Harbin. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shiyan. Spacecraft: Shiyan. USAF Sat Cat: 28220 . COSPAR: 2004-012A. Apogee: 616 km (382 mi). Perigee: 598 km (371 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.80 min.

    China's first transmission-type small satellite capable of stereo mapping. It was jointly designed by the Harbin Polytechnic University, Chinese Research Institute of Space Technology, Changchun Photomechanical Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)and Xi'an Surveys and Designs Institute. The experiment satellite carried out photographic surveys of China's land resources, monitored the geographical environment and conducted scientific research on mapping. It was handed over for use to the Satellite Remote-Sensing Ground Station of CAS following the on-orbit testing.

  • Naxing 1 - . Payload: CAST1000A, OlympivSat. Mass: 25 kg (55 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Tsinghua. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST1000. Spacecraft: CAST1000. USAF Sat Cat: 28221 . COSPAR: 2004-012B. Apogee: 616 km (382 mi). Perigee: 599 km (372 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.80 min. Naxing 1 (a contraction of Nami Weixing 'Nanosatellite') was designed for high-tech experiments. The satellite was developed and will be used by the elite Qinghua University and the Aerospace Qinghua Satellite Technologies Co. Ltd..
  • Unannounced Chinese satellite? - . Mass: 500 kg (1,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: PLA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Decay Date: 2004-08-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 28223 . COSPAR: 2004-012D. Apogee: 532 km (330 mi). Perigee: 339 km (210 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 93.30 min.

    The announced mass of the two satellites launched was far less than the payload capability of the CZ-2C. It was believed that an unannounced military satellite may have been orbited. Object 2004-12D was in a much lower perigee orbit of 350 x 606 km x 97 deg and may have separated prior to second stage vernier cutoff.


2004 June 29 - . 03:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiritimati. Launch Pad: 0.0 N x 154.0 W. Launch Platform: Odyssey. LV Family: Zenit. Launch Vehicle: Zenit-3SL. FAILURE: Partial failure - upper stage left satellite stranded in useless orbit.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Apstar 5 - . Payload: Apstar 1R, Telstar 18, LS-1300. Mass: 4,640 kg (10,220 lb). Nation: China. Agency: APT Satellite Company. Manufacturer: Palo Alto. Program: Apstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FS-1300. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 28364 . COSPAR: 2004-024A. Apogee: 35,799 km (22,244 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Delayed from November 2003, April 28 2004. Partial failure (upper stage). As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 138.01E drifting at 0.009W degrees per day..

2004 July 1 - . Launch Site: Yellow Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: 35.0 N x 125.0 E. Launch Platform: XIA. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: JL-2. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Julang-2 - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

2004 July 25 - . 07:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Tan Ce 2 - . Payload: Double Star 2, DSP-P. Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: DFH. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 28382 . COSPAR: 2004-029A. Apogee: 38,574 km (23,968 mi). Perigee: 655 km (406 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 695.10 min. Delayed from June, July 20..

2004 August 29 - . 07:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-3 No. 2 - . Payload: FSW-19. Mass: 3,100 kg (6,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 26.67 days. Decay Date: 2004-11-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 28402 . COSPAR: 2004-033A. Apogee: 547 km (339 mi). Perigee: 168 km (104 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 91.70 min.

    Recoverable satellite officially stated to be conducting space scientific research, land surveying, mapping and other scientific experiments. Said to have improved experimental technology, with higher orientation precision and more complex on-board computers and software. Controlled from the Xian Satellite Monitoring and Control Centre. Successfully re-entered and recovered after 27 days in space at 23:55 GMT on 24 September.


2004 September 8 - . 23:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • SJ-6-01A SJ-6A - . Payload: Shi Jian 6B. Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-6. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 28413 . COSPAR: 2004-035A. Apogee: 593 km (368 mi). Perigee: 578 km (359 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.40 min.

    It was announced that the two satellites had a design life of at least two years, and would be used to probe the space environment, radiation and its effects, record space physical environment parameters, and conduct other related space experiments. The two satellites were built by the Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology and Dongfanghong Satellite Company under subcontract to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The scientific instruments aboard the satellites were mainly manufactured by the China Electronics Technology Corporation. Some Western observors believed the mission of the satellites included electronic intelligence technology tests.

  • SJ-6-01B SJ-6B - . Payload: Shi Jian 6B. Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 28414 . COSPAR: 2004-035B. Apogee: 602 km (374 mi). Perigee: 593 km (368 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. CAST968 platform. Released one minute after SJ-6A..

2004 September 27 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • FSW-3 No. 3 - . Payload: FSW 20. Mass: 3,100 kg (6,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 17.78 days. Decay Date: 2004-11-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 28424 . COSPAR: 2004-039A. Apogee: 297 km (184 mi). Perigee: 205 km (127 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Recoverable military satellite. Returned to Earth at 02:48 GMT on October 15, falling through the roof of a house in the village of Penglai, Sichuan province..

2004 October 19 - . 01:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • FY-2C - . Mass: 1,380 kg (3,040 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-2. Spacecraft: FY-2. USAF Sat Cat: 28451 . COSPAR: 2004-042A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,786 km (22,236 mi). Inclination: 0.7000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min.

    Third Fengyun-2 weather satellite. The apogee motor placed the satellite into a drifting geostationary orbit. As of the date of the launch, four FY-2 satellites had been launched. FY-2 01 was destroyed in a ground fire 1994. FY-2 02 / FY-2A was placed in reserve in May 2000 86 deg E; and FY-2 03 / FY-2B was operational at 123 deg E. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 104.44E drifting at 0.026W degrees per day.


2004 November 6 - . 03:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • ZY-2C - . Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-3. USAF Sat Cat: 28470 . COSPAR: 2004-044A. Apogee: 504 km (313 mi). Perigee: 479 km (297 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.40 min. Zi Yuan 2-3 was a low earth orbit digital imaging spacecraft used by the Chinese government, probably for both civilian and military reconnaissance purposes..

2004 November 18 - . 10:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. Launch Pad: LC1?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Shiyan Weixing 2 - . Payload: TANSUO 2, CAST1000C. Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Manufacturer: DFH. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST1000. Spacecraft: CAST1000. USAF Sat Cat: 28479 . COSPAR: 2004-046A. Apogee: 711 km (441 mi). Perigee: 694 km (431 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.80 min. Remote Sensing Technology..

2005 April 12 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Apstar 6 - . Payload: Apstar 5B / Spacebus 4000C2. Mass: 4,680 kg (10,310 lb). Nation: China. Agency: APT Satellite Company. Program: Apstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Spacebus 4000. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 28638 . COSPAR: 2005-012A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0200 deg. Period: 1,436.09 min. Delayed from November, December 4, 2004. Ku and C band transponders. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 133.99E drifting at 0.013W degrees per day..

2005 June 9 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: KT-1. FAILURE: Reported orbital launch failure.
  • MS-1? - . Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

2005 June 12 - . Launch Site: Yellow Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: 35.0 N x 125.0 E. Launch Platform: XIA. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: JL-2.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2005 July 5 - . 22:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-2. Launch Pad: Pad 603. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • SJ-7 - . Payload: Shi Jian 7. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: China. Manufacturer: CASC. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-7. Spacecraft: SJ-7. USAF Sat Cat: 28737 . COSPAR: 2005-024A. Apogee: 573 km (356 mi). Perigee: 555 km (344 mi). Inclination: 97.6000 deg. Period: 95.90 min. Perhaps early test of satellite inspector/interceptor hardware; orbit similar to SJ-12 in 2010..

2005 July 7 - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • ASAT - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 850 km (520 mi).

2005 August 2 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • FSW-3 No. 4 - . Payload: FSW-21. Mass: 3,100 kg (6,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Manufacturer: SAST. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 27.00 days. Decay Date: 2005-08-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 28776 . COSPAR: 2005-027A. Apogee: 259 km (160 mi). Perigee: 153 km (95 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Military reconnaisance satellite, which maneuvered to raise its apogee on Aug 5 and 7 to a 166 x 552 km x 63.0 orbit; and again to the same altitude on Aug 19 after the apogee decayed to 535 km. Return capsule with film aboard recovered on 29 August..

2005 August 29 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • FSW-3 No. 5 - . Payload: FSW-22. Mass: 3,100 kg (6,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Manufacturer: SAST. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 49.00 days. Decay Date: 2005-10-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 28824 . COSPAR: 2005-033A. Apogee: 224 km (139 mi). Perigee: 178 km (110 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Decayed 17 October 2005..

2005 October 12 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Shenzhou 6 - . Crew: Fei Junlong, Nie Haisheng. Backup Crew: Jing Haipen, Liu Buoming. Return Crew: Wu Jie, Zhai Zhigang. Mass: 8,040 kg (17,720 lb). Nation: China. Related Persons: Fei Junlong, Jing Haipen, Liu Buoming, Nie Haisheng, Wu Jie, Zhai Zhigang. Agency: SISE. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Shenzhou 6. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 4.81 days. Decay Date: 2005-10-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 28879 . COSPAR: 2005-040A. Apogee: 338 km (210 mi). Perigee: 331 km (205 mi). Inclination: 42.4000 deg. Period: 91.20 min.

    Moved up from October 13. Second Chinese manned space mission. The two-astronaut crew spent 5 days in space, and worked in the Shenzhou orbital module for the first time. Aside from biomedical experiments, the nature of their work was not divulged, and few images of the interior of the orbital module (with its probable military experiments) were released.


2005 October 16 - .
2005 October 16 - . 20:33 GMT - .
2005 October 27 - . 06:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Beijing-1 - . Payload: Tsinghua 2, China-DMC+4, Modified MicroSat-100. Mass: 140 kg (300 lb). Nation: China. Agency: KVR. Manufacturer: Surrey. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SSTL-150. Spacecraft: SSTL-150. USAF Sat Cat: 28890 . COSPAR: 2005-043A. Apogee: 705 km (438 mi). Perigee: 682 km (423 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.60 min.

    Beijing-1 carried a 31-cm focal-length cartographic telescope with a resolution of 4 meters. It was to be part of the international Disaster Monitoring Constellation. Operated by Tsinghua University for Beijing Landview Mapping Information Technology Ltd.


2006 February 6 - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • ASAT - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 850 km (520 mi).

2006 April 26 - . 22:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 1 - . Payload: Jianbing 5. Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CNSA. Manufacturer: CASC. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-5. USAF Sat Cat: 29092 . COSPAR: 2006-015A. Apogee: 630 km (390 mi). Perigee: 627 km (389 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 97.30 min. Remote sensing satellite built by the Shanghai SAST Group. In reality it was the first Chinese synthetic aperture radar military surveillance satellite..

2006 September 4 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • DF-31 test - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2006 September 9 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • SJ-8 - . Mass: 3,100 kg (6,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: SAST. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FSW. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 14.82 days. Decay Date: 2006-11-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 29385 . COSPAR: 2006-035A. Apogee: 336 km (208 mi). Perigee: 173 km (107 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. Long delayed Seed Satellite, an experiment in which a large payload of seeds were exposed to te space environment for two weeks. The modified FSW optical reconnaisance satellite capsule was recovered in Sichuan at 02:43 GMT on September 24..

2006 September 12 - . 16:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Zhongxing 22A - . Payload: Chinasat 22A / Feng Huo 1-2. Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CTBSC. Manufacturer: CAST. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 29398 . COSPAR: 2006-038A. Apogee: 35,817 km (22,255 mi). Perigee: 35,757 km (22,218 mi). Inclination: 0.4000 deg. Period: 1,000.00 min.

    Military communications satellite, launched to replace Zhongxing 22 in geosynchronous orbit at 98.0 E. Part of the Feng Huo series for secure digital data and voice tactical military communications. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 98.10E drifting at 0.006W degrees per day.


2006 October 23 - . 23:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • SJ-6-02A SJ-6C - . Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-6. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 29505 . COSPAR: 2006-046A. Apogee: 598 km (371 mi). Perigee: 594 km (369 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. Replaced the SJ-6 Group 1 satellites A and B. Official purpose was to measure the space environment, but foreign analysts suspected a SIGINT role..
  • SJ-6-02B SJ-6D - . Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 29506 . COSPAR: 2006-046B. Apogee: 599 km (372 mi). Perigee: 598 km (371 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.70 min.

2006 October 28 - . 16:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Sinosat-2 - . Payload: Xinnuo 2. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 29516 . COSPAR: 2006-048A. Apogee: 35,911 km (22,314 mi). Perigee: 35,675 km (22,167 mi). Inclination: 0.0600 deg. Period: 1,436.44 min.

    First DH-4 heavy Chinese communication satellite with communications equipment provided by Alcatel Alenia. Mission failed when solar panels and antennae failed to deploy in geosynchronous orbit. This was a blow to China's prestige, since the satellite was an important part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics coverage plans. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 91.80E drifting at 0.093W degrees per day.


2006 December 8 - . 00:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • FY-2D - . Payload: Fengyun 2D. Mass: 1,380 kg (3,040 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-2. Spacecraft: FY-2. Decay Date: 2006-12-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 29641 . COSPAR: 2006-053B. Apogee: 35,789 km (22,238 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 2.6000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min.

    Fourth Wind and Cloud 2 geostationary weather satellite with an infrared radiometer as its primary instrument. The booster placed the spacecraft in a 226 x 36221 km x 24.9 deg geosynchronous transfer orbit. The FG-36 solid apogee motor aboard the satellite burned at 18:07 GMT and placed the FY-2D into an initial 35786 x 36478 km x 2.6 deg geosynchronous drift orbit.


2007 January 11 - . 22:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Chinese ASAT destroys FY-1C target satellite. - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 850 km (520 mi).

    The FY-1C satellite, launched on 10 May 1999, was presumably well past the end of its operational life. It was destroyed in a test of a Chinese ASAT weapon at an altitude of 850 km, 4 degrees west of Xichang. Launch vehicle was unknown, but a version of the DF-21 IRBM would be sufficient to reach that altitude. Reportedly the flight had been preceded by one to three earlier tests that were either failures or just aimed at a point in space. The program was apparently very secret, and the Chinese foreign ministry was caught by surprise by the test and the storm of international condemnation that followed. The FY-1C was blown into over 200 pieces of debris, adding immediately by 10% to the population of space junk that threatens lower-altitude satellites.


2007 February 2 - . 16:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou 1D - . Payload: DFH-3A. Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 30323 . COSPAR: 2007-003A. Apogee: 36,248 km (22,523 mi). Perigee: 35,326 km (21,950 mi). Inclination: 6.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    Navigation satellite. It did not reach geostationary orbit until early April following deployment problems with its solar panels and reports of US detection of a debris cloud at the time of the original expected apogee firing. As of 2010 reported to have suffered a control failure.


2007 April 11 - . 03:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • HY-1B - . Payload: Haiyang 1B. Mass: 443 kg (976 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: DFH. Class: Earth. Type: Sea satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST968. Spacecraft: CAST968. USAF Sat Cat: 31113 . COSPAR: 2007-010A. Apogee: 815 km (506 mi). Perigee: 782 km (485 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Oceanographic satellite equipped with a 10-band ocean color scanner, a 4-band CCD imager with 250-meter resolution, and an infrared water profile radiometer..

2007 April 12 - . 20:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou M1 - . Payload: Beidou DW5. Mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: CAST. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-MEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-MEO. USAF Sat Cat: 31115 . COSPAR: 2007-011A. Apogee: 21,544 km (13,386 mi). Perigee: 21,519 km (13,371 mi). Inclination: 55.3000 deg. Period: 773.40 min. The fifth Beidou satellite, but the first in the 12-hour, 55 deg inclination MEO portion of the constellation. Tested frequencies and equipment for later operational MEO component of the Beidou-2 constellation..

2007 May 25 - . 07:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Yaogan 2 - . Payload: Jianbing 6. Mass: 1,300 kg (2,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CNSA. Manufacturer: CAST. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-6. USAF Sat Cat: 31490 . COSPAR: 2007-019A. Apogee: 655 km (406 mi). Perigee: 631 km (392 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 97.60 min. Second Chinese synthetic aperture radar military surveillance satellite..
  • Zheda Pixing 1 - . Mass: 2.00 kg (4.40 lb). Nation: China. Agency: Zhejiang. Manufacturer: SIMIT. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Zheda Pixing. Spacecraft: Zheda Pixing. COSPAR: 2007-019x. Experimental microelectronics research picosatellite..

2007 May 31 - . 16:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Sinosat 3 - . Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SinoSatCom. Manufacturer: CAST. Program: Sinosat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 31577 . COSPAR: 2007-021A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.3000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Chinese C-band domestic communications satellite, launched as part of a campaign to prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games, and to compensate for failure of the first DFH-4 satellite..

2007 July 5 - . 12:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Zhongxing 6B - . Payload: Chinasat 6B / Spacebus 4000C2. Mass: 4,600 kg (10,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: ChinaSatCom. Manufacturer: Alenia. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Spacebus 4000. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 31800 . COSPAR: 2007-031A. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 0.0200 deg. Period: 1,436.07 min. Direct broadcast satellite, capable of transmitting 300 television channels using 38 transponders. To be positioned at 115.5 deg E, beaming signals to China, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Planned mission life 15 years..

2007 September 19 - . 03:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • CBERS-2B ZY-1 FM2B - . Mass: 1,452 kg (3,201 lb). Nation: Brazil, China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Phoenix Eye. Spacecraft: Phoenix Eye. USAF Sat Cat: 32062 . COSPAR: 2007-042A. Apogee: 775 km (481 mi). Perigee: 773 km (480 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 100.30 min.

    Third China-Brazil joint earth resources satellite. Much higher resolution optics and multispectral sensors expected to be useful for some military applications as well. The satellite raised its orbit to its operational altitude of 773 km two days after launch.


2007 October 24 - . 10:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. Launch Pad: LC3. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Chang'e 1 - . Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. Decay Date: 2008-01-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 32273 . COSPAR: 2007-051B. Apogee: 50,182 km (31,181 mi). Perigee: 147 km (91 mi). Inclination: 30.8000 deg. Period: 929.20 min.

    China's first unmanned lunar/planetary probe. The initial orbit of 221 x 50,602 km x 31.0 deg was raised to a translunar trajectory by 31 October in a serious of spacecraft engine burns. The spacecraft entered a 210 km x 8600 km lunar orbit at 03:37 GMT on 5 November.


2007 November 11 - . 22:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 3 - . Payload: Jianbing 5. Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-5. USAF Sat Cat: 32289 . COSPAR: 2007-055A. Apogee: 629 km (390 mi). Perigee: 628 km (390 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 97.30 min. The military launch used a new version of the CZ-4 booster. The CZ-4C includes a restart capability in the upper stage and a new interstage adapter between the first and second stages..

2008 April 25 - . 15:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Tian Lian 1 - . Payload: DFH 76. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 32779 . COSPAR: 2008-019A. Apogee: 35,806 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,768 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 0.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    China's first in a series of new data relay satellites, and the first launch of the CZ-3C, a variant of the Long March with two liquid strap-ons. The satellite will relay data from Chinese manned and military satellites, beginning with the Shenzhou mission, from geostationary orbit at 77 deg E. Configuration unknown, but possibly based on the DFH-4 platform.


2008 May 27 - . 03:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • FY-3A - . Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-3. Spacecraft: FY-3. USAF Sat Cat: 32958 . COSPAR: 2008-026A. Apogee: 828 km (514 mi). Perigee: 826 km (513 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 101.40 min. Polar orbiting weather satellite. The FY-3 series will replace the older FY-1 polar system..

2008 May 29 - . Launch Site: Yellow Sea Launch Area. Launch Platform: XIA. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: JL-2.
  • Nation: China. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2008 June 9 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Zhongxing 9 - . Payload: Chinasat 9 / Spacebus 4000C2. Mass: 5,054 kg (11,142 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Spacebus 4000. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 33051 . COSPAR: 2008-028A. Apogee: 35,804 km (22,247 mi). Perigee: 35,770 km (22,220 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Launched to support Olympic games; 22 J-band transponders; positioned at 92.2 deg E..

2008 September 6 - . 03:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • HJ-1A - . Payload: Huan Jing-1A. Mass: 470 kg (1,030 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 33320 . COSPAR: 2008-041A. Apogee: 662 km (411 mi). Perigee: 628 km (390 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Period: 97.60 min. 'Environment' satellites that carried visible and infrared sensors..
  • HJ-1B - . Payload: Huan Jing-1B. Mass: 470 kg (1,030 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 33321 . COSPAR: 2008-041B. Apogee: 672 km (417 mi). Perigee: 626 km (388 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Period: 97.70 min.

2008 September 25 - . 13:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Shenzhou 7 - . Crew: Jing Haipen, Liu Buoming, Zhai Zhigang. Mass: 7,840 kg (17,280 lb). Nation: China. Related Persons: Jing Haipen, Liu Buoming, Zhai Zhigang. Agency: SISE. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Shenzhou 7. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 2.85 days. Decay Date: 2008-09-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 33386 . COSPAR: 2008-047A. Apogee: 336 km (208 mi). Perigee: 329 km (204 mi). Inclination: 42.4000 deg. Period: 91.20 min.

    Third Chinese manned space mission. The crew consisted of Zhai Zhigang, backup astronaut for China's first manned space mission; and Liu Buoming and Jing Haipeng, backups for the second mission. The astronauts demonstrated the capability of the Shenzhou spacecraft to carry its full complement of three crew for the first time. Zhai, wearing a Chinese-developed Feitian space suit, emerged from the orbital module of the Shenzhou and became China's first astronaut to conduct a spacewalk. Liu, wearing a proven Russian Orlan spacesuit, remained in the depressurized orbital module, ready to assist Zhai in an emergency. A subsatellite, weighing 40 kg, was released after the EVA, and relayed back images of Shenzhou 7 from close range to a distance of several kilometers. The crew returned safely to earth in a pinpoint landing in Outer Mongolia, carried live on television. The orbital module remained in space, conducting space network experiments with the subsatellite.

  • BX-1 - . Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Flight: Shenzhou 7. Spacecraft Bus: Ban Xing. Spacecraft: Ban Xing. Decay Date: 2009-10-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 33392 . COSPAR: 2008-047G. Apogee: 331 km (205 mi). Perigee: 321 km (199 mi). Inclination: 42.4000 deg. Period: 91.00 min. BanXing (companion satellite) subsatellite released by Shenzhou 7. If maneuvered away and back to the Shenzhou orbital module after the mission..

2008 September 27 - .
  • EVA Shenzhou 7-1 - . Crew: Liu Buoming, Zhai Zhigang. EVA Duration: 0.0139 days. Nation: China. Related Persons: Liu Buoming, Zhai Zhigang. Program: ISS. Flight: Shenzhou 7.

    Zhai, wearing a Chinese-developed Feitian space suit, emerged from the orbital module of the Shenzhou and became China's first astronaut to conduct a spacewalk. Liu, wearing a proven Russian Orlan spacesuit, remained in the depressurized orbital module, ready to assist Zhai in an emergency.


2008 October 25 - . 01:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • SJ-6-03A SJ-6E - . Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-6. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 33408 . COSPAR: 2008-053A. Apogee: 603 km (374 mi). Perigee: 584 km (362 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.50 min. Third pair in China's SJ military surveillance constellation. It has been suggested that each pair consists of two differing satellites, a smaller minisatellite built by SAST Shanghai and a larger 300-kg CAST-968 bus satellite from DFH..
  • SJ-6-03B SJ-6F - . Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 33409 . COSPAR: 2008-053B. Apogee: 605 km (375 mi). Perigee: 582 km (361 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.50 min.

2008 November 5 - . 00:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Chuangxin-1-02 - . Mass: 90 kg (198 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CX-1. Spacecraft: CX-1. USAF Sat Cat: 33433 . COSPAR: 2008-056A. Apogee: 805 km (500 mi). Perigee: 785 km (487 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Microsat built by the Shanghai Institute of Microsystems and Information Technology) and the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology. The satellite was designed to collect and relay hydrological and meteorological data and data for disaster relief..
  • Shiyan Weixing 3 - . Payload: CAST1000C. Mass: 204 kg (449 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST1000. Spacecraft: CAST1000. USAF Sat Cat: 33434 . COSPAR: 2008-056B. Apogee: 806 km (500 mi). Perigee: 785 km (487 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Built by the Harbin Institute of Technology and the DFH Satellite Company for 'experiments on new technologies in atmospheric exploration'..

2008 December 1 - . 04:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Yaogan 4 - . Payload: Jianbing 6. Mass: 1,300 kg (2,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-6. USAF Sat Cat: 33446 . COSPAR: 2008-061A. Apogee: 654 km (406 mi). Perigee: 632 km (392 mi). Inclination: 97.9000 deg. Period: 97.60 min. Fourth 'Remote Sensing Satellite'; presumed military mission..

2008 December 15 - . 03:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • Yaogan 5 - . Payload: Jianbing 8. Mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-10. Decay Date: 2014-09-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 33456 . COSPAR: 2008-064A. Apogee: 496 km (308 mi). Perigee: 486 km (301 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.40 min.

    One of the two different series of military surveillance satellites launched under the YW designation, although YW 5 was in a lower orbit similar to the ZY-2 satellites, lower than previous YW satellites. The launch vehicle was announced as a CZ-4B, but appeared to be a CZ-4B with the CZ-4C's restartable YF-40A upper stage under the larger CZ-4C nose fairing.


2008 December 23 - . 00:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • FY-2E - . Mass: 1,380 kg (3,040 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-2. Spacecraft: FY-2. USAF Sat Cat: 33463 . COSPAR: 2008-066A. Apogee: 35,806 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,771 km (22,227 mi). Inclination: 2.6000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Member of China's geosynchronous weather satellite constellation..

2009 April 14 - . 16:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Beidou G2 - . Payload: Beidou DW2. Mass: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-GEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-GEO. USAF Sat Cat: 34779 . COSPAR: 2009-018A. Apogee: 35,799 km (22,244 mi). Perigee: 35,783 km (22,234 mi). Inclination: 0.7000 deg. Period: 1,436.30 min. First launch of the geostationary component of the Beidou-2 navigation satellite constellation. Experienced control problems; as of 2010 not in the operational constellation..

2009 April 22 - . 02:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Yaogan 6 - . Payload: Jianbing 7. Mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-7. USAF Sat Cat: 34839 . COSPAR: 2009-021A. Apogee: 512 km (318 mi). Perigee: 512 km (318 mi). Inclination: 97.6000 deg. Period: 94.90 min.

2009 August 11 - . 19:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-M/Briz-M.
  • Asiasat 5 - . Mass: 3,760 kg (8,280 lb). Nation: China. Agency: ILS. Program: Asiasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FS-1300. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 35696 . COSPAR: 2009-042A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Provided C-band and Ku-band communications services..

2009 August 31 - . 09:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Palapa D - . Payload: Spacebus 4000B3. Mass: 4,100 kg (9,000 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Program: Palapa. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Spacebus 4000. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 35812 . COSPAR: 2009-046A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Early third stage cutoff left spacecraft in sub-geostationary transfer orbit of 217 km x 21,138 km at 22.4 deg inclination. It used its on-board system to reach an operational orbit, albeit with reduced life due to the propellant consumption..

2009 November 12 - . 02:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • SJ-11-01 - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Early warning satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-11. Spacecraft: SJ-11. USAF Sat Cat: 36088 . COSPAR: 2009-061A. Apogee: 705 km (438 mi). Perigee: 688 km (427 mi). Inclination: 98.3000 deg. Period: 98.70 min. Experimental Satellite, believed to carry infrared surveillance system sensors..

2009 December 9 - . 08:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Yaogan 7 - . Payload: Jianbing 6. Mass: 1,300 kg (2,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-6. USAF Sat Cat: 36110 . COSPAR: 2009-069A. Apogee: 659 km (409 mi). Perigee: 623 km (387 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 97.50 min. Remote-Sensing Satellite, apparently a military optical surveillance satellite similar to YW-2 and YW-4..

2009 December 15 - . 02:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 8 - . Payload: Jianbing 9. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-9. USAF Sat Cat: 36121 . COSPAR: 2009-072A. Apogee: 1,204 km (748 mi). Perigee: 1,193 km (741 mi). Inclination: 100.5000 deg. Period: 109.40 min. Sun-synchronous orbit low resolution imaging satellite, primarily for civilian Earth resource studies. Supplemental military missions may include weather forecasting..
  • Xi Wang 1 - . Mass: 50 kg (110 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Oscar. Spacecraft: Oscar. USAF Sat Cat: 36122 . COSPAR: 2009-072B. Apogee: 1,205 km (748 mi). Perigee: 1,193 km (741 mi). Inclination: 100.5000 deg. Period: 109.40 min. Amateur radio satellite..

2010 January 11 - . 11:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-11. Launch Vehicle: B-611.
  • Target - . Nation: China. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Target.

2010 January 11 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Urumqi. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Interceptor - . Nation: China. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). ABM test.

2010 January 16 - . 16:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Beidou G1 - . Payload: Beidou DW3. Mass: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-GEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-GEO. USAF Sat Cat: 36287 . COSPAR: 2010-001A. Apogee: 35,972 km (22,351 mi). Perigee: 35,600 km (22,100 mi). Inclination: 1.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. First successful launch in the geostationary component of the Beidou-2 navigation satellite constellation. Stationed at 144.5 deg E..

2010 March 5 - . 04:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 9A - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 36413 . COSPAR: 2010-009A. Apogee: 1,107 km (687 mi). Perigee: 1,075 km (667 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.10 min.
  • Yaogan 9B - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 36414 . COSPAR: 2010-009B. Apogee: 1,107 km (687 mi). Perigee: 1,075 km (667 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.10 min.
  • Yaogan 9C - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 36415 . COSPAR: 2010-009C. Apogee: 1,107 km (687 mi). Perigee: 1,074 km (667 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.10 min.

2010 June 2 - . 15:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Beidou G3 - . Payload: Beidou DW4. Mass: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-GEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-GEO. USAF Sat Cat: 36590 . COSPAR: 2010-024A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 1.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Second successful launch in the geostationary component of the Beidou-2 navigation satellite constellation. Stationed at 84 deg E..

2010 June 15 - . 01:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • SJ-12 - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Military. Type: Anti-satellite system. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-7. Spacecraft: SJ-7. USAF Sat Cat: 36596 . COSPAR: 2010-027A. Apogee: 602 km (374 mi). Perigee: 578 km (359 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.50 min. Satellite inspector/interceptor. Carried out a close pass or even came in contact with the SJ-6/3A satellite on 19 August 2010. By 21 September was in a 580 km x 606 km x 97.8 deg orbit..

2010 July 31 - . 21:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou IGS 1 - . Payload: Beidou DW5. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-IGSO. Spacecraft: Beidou-IGSO. USAF Sat Cat: 36828 . COSPAR: 2010-036A. Apogee: 35,901 km (22,307 mi). Perigee: 35,680 km (22,170 mi). Inclination: 55.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.30 min. First satellite placed in the Beidou-2 inclined geosynchronous orbit constellation; placed in Plane 1 at 118 deg E..

2010 August 9 - . 22:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 10 - . Payload: Yaogan Weixing 10 / Jianbing 5. Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-5. USAF Sat Cat: 36834 . COSPAR: 2010-038A. Apogee: 630 km (390 mi). Perigee: 627 km (389 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 97.30 min. Radar imaging satellite..

2010 August 24 - . 07:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Tianhui-1 Weixing - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Tianhui. Spacecraft: Tianhui. USAF Sat Cat: 36985 . COSPAR: 2010-040A. Apogee: 507 km (315 mi). Perigee: 484 km (300 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. Research, mapping and land resource survey satellite..

2010 September 4 - . 16:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Zhongxing 6A - . Payload: Chinasat 6A. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37150 . COSPAR: 2010-042A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. C and Ku band communications transponders..

2010 September 22 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Yaogan 11 - . Payload: Zheda Pixing 1A / Jianbing 6. Mass: 1,300 kg (2,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-6. USAF Sat Cat: 37165 . COSPAR: 2010-047A. Apogee: 669 km (415 mi). Perigee: 626 km (388 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Period: 97.70 min. Carried earth imaging camera..
  • Zheda Pixing 1B - . Mass: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Zheda Pixing. Spacecraft: Zheda Pixing. USAF Sat Cat: 37166 . COSPAR: 2010-047B. Apogee: 657 km (408 mi). Perigee: 622 km (386 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Period: 97.50 min. Picosatellite testing various systems for later operational satellites..
  • Zheda Pixing 1C - . Mass: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Zheda Pixing. Spacecraft: Zheda Pixing. USAF Sat Cat: 37167 . COSPAR: 2010-047C. Apogee: 657 km (408 mi). Perigee: 623 km (387 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Period: 97.50 min. Picosatellite testing various systems for later operational satellites..

2010 October 1 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Chang'e 2 - . Mass: 2,480 kg (5,460 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 37174 . COSPAR: 2010-050A.

    China's second lunar orbiter, retasked to an interplanetary explorer. Entered a 119 x 8599 km lunar orbit on 1 October at 03:14 GMT. By 9 October it had maneuvered to its operational 100-km circular lunar orbit. On 9 June 2011, its lunar mission complete, it was maneuvered out of lunar orbit, and arrived at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrangian point on 25 August 2011. It then followed the interplanetary gravitational superhighway to a 1.02 AU x 1.03 AU x 0.2 deg solar orbit, leading to a flyby of the asteroid Toutatis on 13 December 2012 at 08:30 GMT. It came within 3.2 km of the planetoid and returned detailed images.


2010 October 6 - . 00:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • SJ-6-04A SJ-6G - . Payload: SJ-6/4A. Mass: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-6. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 37179 . COSPAR: 2010-051A. Apogee: 606 km (376 mi). Perigee: 587 km (364 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. Fourth pair of SJ-6 military surveillance satellites..
  • SJ-6-04B SJ-6H - . Payload: SJ-6/4B. Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 37180 . COSPAR: 2010-051B. Apogee: 604 km (375 mi). Perigee: 588 km (365 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min.

2010 October 31 - . 16:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Beidou G4 - . Payload: Beidou DW6. Mass: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-GEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-GEO. USAF Sat Cat: 37210 . COSPAR: 2010-057A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 1.6000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Third successful launch in the geostationary component of the Beidou-2 navigation satellite constellation. Stationed at 160 deg E. These three launches in one year completed that portion of the constellation..

2010 November 5 - . 18:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • FY-3B - . Payload: Fengyun 3 (01 B. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: China. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-3. Spacecraft: FY-3. USAF Sat Cat: 37214 . COSPAR: 2010-059A. Apogee: 828 km (514 mi). Perigee: 825 km (512 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.40 min. Second polar orbiting FY-3 weather satellite..

2010 November 24 - . 16:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Zhongxing 20A - . Payload: Chinasat 20A / Shentong 1-2. Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: China. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 37234 . COSPAR: 2010-064A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Second of the Shentong series operated by the Chinese Army to provide secure voice and data communications services for ground users using Ku-band..

2010 December 17 - . 20:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou IGS 2 - . Payload: Beidou DW7. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-IGSO. Spacecraft: Beidou-IGSO. USAF Sat Cat: 37256 . COSPAR: 2010-068A. Apogee: 35,857 km (22,280 mi). Perigee: 35,722 km (22,196 mi). Inclination: 55.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Second satellite placed in the Beidou-2 inclined geosynchronous orbit constellation; placed in Plane 1 at 118 deg E..

2011 April 9 - . 20:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou IGS 3 - . Payload: Beidou DW8. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-IGSO. Spacecraft: Beidou-IGSO. USAF Sat Cat: 37384 . COSPAR: 2011-013A. Apogee: 35,874 km (22,291 mi). Perigee: 35,696 km (22,180 mi). Inclination: 55.3000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Third satellite placed in the Beidou-2 inclined geosynchronous orbit constellation; placed in Plane 1 at 118 deg E. This completed population of the first plane of the IGSO component..

2011 May 6 - . 23:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Hainan. LV Family: Tianying-3C. Launch Vehicle: Tianying-3C.
  • Kunpeng-1 - . Nation: China. Apogee: 197 km (122 mi).

2011 June 20 - . 16:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Zhongxing 10 - . Payload: Chinasat 10. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37677 . COSPAR: 2011-026A. Apogee: 35,812 km (22,252 mi). Perigee: 35,764 km (22,222 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Chinese communications satellite, stationed over 103.5 deg E. AKA ChinaSat 10, Xinnuo-5, and Sinosat-5..

2011 July 6 - . 04:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • SJ-11-03 - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Early warning satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-11. Spacecraft: SJ-11. USAF Sat Cat: 37730 . COSPAR: 2011-030A. Apogee: 702 km (436 mi). Perigee: 691 km (429 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.70 min. Military satellite, believed to be equipped with infrared sensors, perhaps for ballistic missile launch detection..

2011 July 11 - . 15:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Tianlian 1-02 - . Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 37737 . COSPAR: 2011-032A. Apogee: 35,804 km (22,247 mi). Perigee: 35,769 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 0.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Data relay satellite to support the Shenzhou-Tiangong docking mission and later manned space station missions..

2011 July 26 - . 21:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou IGS 4 - . Payload: Beidou DW9. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-IGSO. Spacecraft: Beidou-IGSO. USAF Sat Cat: 37763 . COSPAR: 2011-038A. Apogee: 35,864 km (22,284 mi). Perigee: 35,698 km (22,181 mi). Inclination: 55.2000 deg. Period: 1,435.80 min. Fourth satellite placed in the Beidou-2 inclined geosynchronous orbit constellation; placed in Plane 2 at 95 deg E..

2011 July 29 - . 07:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • SJ-11-02 - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Early warning satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-11. Spacecraft: SJ-11. USAF Sat Cat: 37765 . COSPAR: 2011-039A. Apogee: 705 km (438 mi). Perigee: 688 km (427 mi). Inclination: 98.1000 deg. Period: 98.70 min. Believed to carry infrared surveillance system sensors..

2011 August 15 - . 22:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • HY-2A - . Payload: Haiyang 2A. Mass: 443 kg (976 lb). Nation: China. Class: Earth. Type: Climate satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST968. Spacecraft: CAST968. USAF Sat Cat: 37781 . COSPAR: 2011-043A. Apogee: 967 km (600 mi). Perigee: 966 km (600 mi). Inclination: 99.4000 deg. Period: 104.40 min. Oceanographic satellite with a microwave radiometer, a radar altimeter and a radar scatterometer to monitor ocean conditions..

2011 August 18 - . 09:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C. FAILURE: Second stage vernier engine suffered a mechanical failure.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • SJ-11-04 - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Early warning satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-11. Spacecraft: SJ-11. Fourth satellite of the SJ-11 infrared surveillance system failed to reach orbit when the second stage vernier engine suffered a mechanical failure..

2011 September 17 - . 16:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Zhongxing 1A - . Payload: Chinasat 1A / Feng Huo 2-1. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37804 . COSPAR: 2011-047A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Military communications satellite. First of the Feng Huo 2 series for secure digital data and voice tactical military communications..

2011 September 29 - . 13:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2FT1.
  • Tiangong 1 - . Mass: 8,500 kg (18,700 lb). Nation: China. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Tiangong. USAF Sat Cat: 37820 . COSPAR: 2011-053A. Apogee: 339 km (210 mi). Perigee: 330 km (200 mi). Inclination: 42.8000 deg. Period: 91.20 min. First Chinese manned space laboratory. Placed initially into a 198 km x 332 km x 42.8 deg orbit. Maneuvered to a 336 km x 353 km operational orbit by 30 September in preparation for arrival of the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft that would dock with it..

2011 October 31 - . 21:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Shenzhou 8 - . Mass: 7,800 kg (17,100 lb). Nation: China. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 16.57 days. Decay Date: 2011-11-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 37859 . COSPAR: 2011-063A. Apogee: 338 km (210 mi). Perigee: 328 km (203 mi). Inclination: 42.8000 deg. Period: 91.20 min.

    Unmanned test of Shenzhou manned spacecraft. Automatically docked with Tiangong 1 space laboratory at 17:28 GMT on 2 November. Undocked on 14 November at 11:27 GMT, backed off 140 m, and conducted a second successful automatic docking at 11:53 GMT. Undocked the final time at 10:30 GMT on 16 November and landed in China at 11:32 GMT on 17 November.


2011 November 9 - . 03:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • Tianxun 1 - . Mass: 58 kg (127 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Tianxun. Spacecraft: Tianxun. USAF Sat Cat: 37874 . COSPAR: 2011-066A. Apogee: 489 km (303 mi). Perigee: 477 km (296 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.30 min. Technology satellite built by the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics with a small Earth observing CCD camera..
  • Yaogan 12 - . Payload: Jianbing 8. Mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-10. USAF Sat Cat: 37875 . COSPAR: 2011-066B. Apogee: 497 km (308 mi). Perigee: 486 km (301 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.40 min. Military optical surveillance satellite..

2011 November 20 - . 00:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Chuangxin 1-03 - . Mass: 88 kg (194 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CX-1. Spacecraft: CX-1. USAF Sat Cat: 37930 . COSPAR: 2011-068A. Apogee: 805 km (500 mi). Perigee: 784 km (487 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Store-dump communications satellite developed by China Academy of Science, Shanghai Academy of Space Technology, and Shanghai Telecomm..
  • Shiyan 4 - . Mass: 204 kg (449 lb). Nation: China. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Shiyan. Spacecraft: Shiyan. USAF Sat Cat: 37931 . COSPAR: 2011-068B. Apogee: 803 km (498 mi). Perigee: 784 km (487 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. Civilian resource satellite with digital imaging system capable of stereo Earth-terrain mapping..

2011 November 25 - . 19:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-M/Briz-M.
  • AsiaSat 7 - . Mass: 3,750 kg (8,260 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FS-1300. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 37934 . COSPAR: 2011-069B. Apogee: 34,313 km (21,321 mi). Perigee: 11,873 km (7,377 mi). Inclination: 0.3000 deg. Period: 839.20 min. Communications satellite for Asiasat of Hong Kong..

2011 November 29 - . 18:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Yaogan 13 - . Payload: Jianbing 7. Mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-7. USAF Sat Cat: 37941 . COSPAR: 2011-072A. Apogee: 511 km (317 mi). Perigee: 504 km (313 mi). Inclination: 97.1000 deg. Period: 94.80 min. Military optical surveillance satellite. Probably operating in conjunction with the YW-6 radar satellite..

2011 December 1 - . 21:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou IGS 5 - . Payload: Beidou DW10. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-IGSO. Spacecraft: Beidou-IGSO. USAF Sat Cat: 37948 . COSPAR: 2011-073A. Apogee: 35,866 km (22,286 mi). Perigee: 35,705 km (22,186 mi). Inclination: 55.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Fifth satellite placed in the Beidou-2 inclined geosynchronous orbit constellation; placed in Plane 2 at 95 deg E. This ended launches into the IGSO component for the next several years..

2011 December 22 - . 03:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • ZY-1 02C - . Mass: 2,100 kg (4,600 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Phoenix Eye. Spacecraft: Phoenix Eye. USAF Sat Cat: 38038 . COSPAR: 2011-079A. Apogee: 775 km (481 mi). Perigee: 773 km (480 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 100.30 min. Military imaging payload with a resolution of 2.4 m..

2012 January 9 - . 03:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • ZY 3 - . Mass: 2,636 kg (5,811 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Phoenix Eye. Spacecraft: Phoenix Eye. USAF Sat Cat: 38046 . COSPAR: 2012-001A. Apogee: 508 km (315 mi). Perigee: 496 km (308 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. Period: 94.70 min.

    First Chinese civil high-resolution stereoscopic Earth mapping satellite. The mission objective was to produce 1:50,000 scale maps and data for resource mapping, environmental surveying, disaster monitoring, city planning and national security needs. Project go-ahead was March 2008. For this mission the satellite had better positioning and attitude accuracy, multispectral capabilitym and high-data-rate data transmission to the ground - 2 x 450 Mbit/s. The satellite had a swath width of 51 km with a resolution of 2.1 m. The orbit provided a revisit period of 59 days.


2012 January 13 - . 00:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • FY-2F - . Mass: 1,380 kg (3,040 lb). Nation: China. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-2. Spacecraft: FY-2. USAF Sat Cat: 38049 . COSPAR: 2012-002A. Apogee: 35,811 km (22,251 mi). Perigee: 35,758 km (22,218 mi). Inclination: 2.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Replenishment of China's geosynchronous weather satellite constellation..

2012 February 24 - . 16:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Beidou G5 - . Payload: Beidou DW 11. Mass: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb). Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-GEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-GEO. USAF Sat Cat: 38091 . COSPAR: 2012-008A. Apogee: 35,790 km (22,230 mi). Perigee: 35,784 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 1.7000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Stationed in geostationary orbit at 58.7 deg E..

2012 March 17 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: Kuaizhou.
  • Test payload? - . Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). Maybe orbital attempt.

2012 March 31 - . 10:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Apstar 7 - . Payload: Spacebus 4000C2. Mass: 5,054 kg (11,142 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Spacebus 4000. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 38107 . COSPAR: 2012-013A. Apogee: 35,792 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,782 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

2012 April 29 - . 20:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Beidou M3 - . Payload: Beidou DW 12. Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-MEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-MEO. USAF Sat Cat: 38250 . COSPAR: 2012-018A. Apogee: 21,594 km (13,417 mi). Perigee: 21,461 km (13,335 mi). Inclination: 55.2000 deg. Period: 773.20 min.
  • Beidou M4 - . Payload: Beidou DW 13. Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-MEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-MEO. USAF Sat Cat: 38251 . COSPAR: 2012-018B. Apogee: 21,602 km (13,422 mi). Perigee: 21,453 km (13,330 mi). Inclination: 55.1000 deg. Period: 773.20 min.

2012 May 6 - . 07:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Tianhui 1-02 - . Payload: Tianhui 1B. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Cartographic satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Tianhui. Spacecraft: Tianhui. USAF Sat Cat: 38256 . COSPAR: 2012-020A. Apogee: 506 km (314 mi). Perigee: 485 km (301 mi). Inclination: 97.4000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. Mapping-1 Satellite 02; carried visible-band mapping cameras with 5 m resolution..

2012 May 10 - . 07:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • Yaogan 14 - . Payload: Jianbing 11. Mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-11. USAF Sat Cat: 38257 . COSPAR: 2012-021A. Apogee: 479 km (297 mi). Perigee: 471 km (292 mi). Inclination: 97.2000 deg. Period: 94.10 min. Military remote sensing satellite..
  • Tiantuo 1 - . Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Tiantuo. Spacecraft: Tiantuo. Decay Date: 2014-11-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 38258 . COSPAR: 2012-021B. Apogee: 472 km (293 mi). Perigee: 466 km (289 mi). Inclination: 97.2000 deg. Period: 94.00 min. Technology satellite for the National University of Defense Technology; carried an imager, an atomic oxygen sensor, and an AIS (maritime tracking) receiver..

2012 May 26 - . 15:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Zhongxing 2A - . Payload: Chinasat 2A / Shentong 2-1. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 38352 . COSPAR: 2012-028A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. First of the second generation of the Shentong series, operated by the Chinese Army to provide secure voice and data Ku-band communications to the ground forces..

2012 May 29 - . 07:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 15 - . Payload: Jianbing 9. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-9. USAF Sat Cat: 38354 . COSPAR: 2012-029A. Apogee: 1,207 km (749 mi). Perigee: 1,201 km (746 mi). Inclination: 100.1000 deg. Period: 109.50 min.

2012 June 16 - . 10:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Shenzhou 9 - . Mass: 7,800 kg (17,100 lb). Nation: China. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 12.64 days. Decay Date: 2012-06-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 38461 . COSPAR: 2012-032A. Apogee: 355 km (220 mi). Perigee: 334 km (207 mi). Inclination: 42.8000 deg. Period: 91.40 min.

2012 July 24 - . Launch Site: China. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • RV - . Nation: China. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Test mission. Some sources claimed that it was a test of a new longer-range DF-41 ICBM.

2012 July 25 - . 15:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Tianlian 1-03 - . Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-3. Spacecraft: DFH-3. USAF Sat Cat: 38730 . COSPAR: 2012-040A. Apogee: 35,802 km (22,246 mi). Perigee: 35,771 km (22,227 mi). Inclination: 1.9000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Provided communications relay to the Chinese space station. On station at 16.7 deg E by 6 August..

2012 August 16 - . Launch Pad: Xia sub, Bohai. Launch Platform: T094. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: JL-2.
  • RV - . Nation: China. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Test mission..

2012 August 20 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5A.
  • RV - . Nation: China. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Test mission..

2012 August 30 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • RV - . Nation: China. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Test mission..

2012 September 18 - . 19:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Beidou M5 - . Payload: Beidou DW14. Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-MEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-MEO. USAF Sat Cat: 38774 . COSPAR: 2012-050A. Apogee: 21,591 km (13,416 mi). Perigee: 21,462 km (13,335 mi). Inclination: 55.0000 deg. Period: 773.20 min.
  • Beidou M6 - . Payload: Beidou DW15. Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-MEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-MEO. USAF Sat Cat: 38775 . COSPAR: 2012-050B. Apogee: 21,578 km (13,407 mi). Perigee: 21,472 km (13,342 mi). Inclination: 55.1000 deg. Period: 773.10 min.

2012 October 14 - . 00:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Shi Jian 9 A - . Payload: CAST1000C. Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Rendezvous technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST1000. Spacecraft: CAST1000. USAF Sat Cat: 38860 . COSPAR: 2012-056A. Apogee: 651 km (404 mi). Perigee: 622 km (386 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Period: 97.40 min.

    The pair of SJ-9 satellites carried technical experiments and to perform orbital rendezvous, intercept, and formation flying exercises under the control of the China Resources Satellite Applications Center. On 19 October SJ-9A began maneuvers, lowering its orbit to 619 km x 644 km and then returning to a 623 km x 650 km orbit on October 22-23.

  • Shi Jian 9 B - . Payload: CAST1000C. Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Rendezvous technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST1000. Spacecraft: CAST1000. USAF Sat Cat: 38861 . COSPAR: 2012-056B. Apogee: 650 km (400 mi). Perigee: 623 km (387 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Period: 97.50 min.

2012 October 25 - . 15:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Beidou G6 - . Payload: Beidou DW16. Mass: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb). Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou-GEO. Spacecraft: Beidou-GEO. USAF Sat Cat: 38953 . COSPAR: 2012-059A. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 1.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Reached geostationary orbital station at 80.4 E on 1 November. The transfer orbit had an unusually low perigee of around 160 km. Stationed at 80 deg E..

2012 November 18 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • HJ-1C - . Mass: 890 kg (1,960 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 38997 . COSPAR: 2012-064A. Apogee: 503 km (312 mi). Perigee: 489 km (303 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. Small Chinese S-band semi-active radar earth observation satellite providing all-weather imagery at 100 m resolution. Part of a constellation that includes of two small optical satellites, the HJ-1A and the HJ-1B..
  • Feng Niao 1 (FN-1) - . Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Rendezvous technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 38998 . COSPAR: 2012-064B. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Perigee: 488 km (303 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. Demonstration of new CAST mini- and micro-satellite buses. FN-1 (Hummersat) was to release the 30 kg FN-1A for formation flying and interorbital communications experiments..
  • Xin Yan 1 (XY-1) - . Mass: 140 kg (300 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: XY-1. Spacecraft: XY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 38999 . COSPAR: 2012-064C. Apogee: 501 km (311 mi). Perigee: 489 km (303 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. Technology mission..

2012 November 25 - . 04:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 16A - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 39011 . COSPAR: 2012-066A. Apogee: 1,096 km (681 mi). Perigee: 1,085 km (674 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.10 min. Believed to be a military naval SIGINT surveillance system, consisting of a main satellite and two subsatellites. Second such launch after 2010's Yaogan 9..
  • Yaogan 16B - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 39012 . COSPAR: 2012-066B. Apogee: 1,095 km (680 mi). Perigee: 1,086 km (674 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.10 min.
  • Yaogan 16C - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 39013 . COSPAR: 2012-066C. Apogee: 1,096 km (681 mi). Perigee: 1,085 km (674 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.10 min.

2012 November 27 - . 10:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Zhongxing 12 - . Payload: Chinasat 12 / Spacebus 4000C2. Mass: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Spacebus 4000. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 39017 . COSPAR: 2012-067A. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Civilian communications satellite for China Satcom. Part of capacity leased to Sri Lankan company SupremeSat. Stationed over over 81.5 deg E..

2012 November 30 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2013 January 27 - . 12:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-11. Launch Vehicle: B-611.
  • Target RV - . Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). ABM Target.

2013 January 27 - . 12:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Urumqi. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Interceptor - . Nation: China. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). ABM Test, repeat of January 2010 test..

2013 April 4 - . 21:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Hainan. LV Family: Tianying. Launch Vehicle: Tianying-3E.
  • Kunpeng-1 - . Nation: China. Apogee: 191 km (118 mi). Ionosphere mission..

2013 April 26 - . 04:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Gaofen 1 - . Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 39150 . COSPAR: 2013-018A. Apogee: 656 km (407 mi). Perigee: 628 km (390 mi). Inclination: 98.0600 deg. Period: 97.56 min. High resolution imaging satellite with a 2 m resolution pan-chromatic camera, an 8 m resolution multi-spectral camera and a 16 m resolution wide-angle multi-spectral camera..

2013 May 1 - . 16:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Zhongxing 11 - . Payload: Chinasat 11. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 39157 . COSPAR: 2013-020A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.5500 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Communications satellite operated by China Satcom with 45 C-band and Ku-band transponders..

2013 May 13 - . 12:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • Kunpeng-7 - . Nation: China. Apogee: 30,000 km (18,000 mi).

    Magnetosphere mission. Said to be a very high altitude barium release experiment, but US Department of Defence stated it was a direct-ascent anti-geosynchronous satellite weapon test to an altitude of 30,000 km. Chinese officials stated it was a scientific mission with a payload launched to 10,000 km altitude consisting of a Langmuir probe, particle detectors, a magnetometer, and a barium cloud release.


2013 June 11 - . 09:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2F.
  • Shenzhou 10 - . Crew: Nie Haisheng, Wang Yaping, Zhang Xiaoguan. Mass: 7,800 kg (17,100 lb). Nation: China. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Shenzhou. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 14.60 days. Decay Date: 2013-06-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 39179 . COSPAR: 2013-029A. Apogee: 337 km (209 mi). Perigee: 333 km (206 mi). Inclination: 42.7800 deg. Period: 91.23 min.

    Docked with the Tiangong-1 spacelab on June 13 at 05:11 GMT. On June 23 the crew carried out a redocking exercise. They undocked Shenzhou 10 from Tiangong at 00:26 GMT, backed away from the station, and redocked with it at 02:00 GMT. On June 24 the crew undocked for the final time, made a flyaround of the Tiangong station, and then prepared to return to Earth. The deorbit burn was at about 23:23 GMT Jun3 25. The capsule landed in China at 00:07 GMT June 26, at 42.33N 111.36E.


2013 July 15 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Pad: xxx. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • SJ-11-05 - . Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Early warning satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-11. Spacecraft: SJ-11. USAF Sat Cat: 39202 . COSPAR: 2013-035A. Apogee: 702 km (436 mi). Perigee: 687 km (426 mi). Inclination: 98.1500 deg. Period: 98.66 min. Suspected infrared-telescope-equipped missile early warning satellite; replaces the fourth spacecraft was lost in a launch failure in 2011..

2013 July 19 - . 23:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Pad: xxx. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Shiyan 7 - . Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST3000. Spacecraft: CAST3000. USAF Sat Cat: 39208 . COSPAR: 2013-037A. Apogee: 674 km (418 mi). Perigee: 660 km (410 mi). Inclination: 98.0400 deg. Period: 98.09 min. Satellite inspector with robotic arm. After maneuvering close to Chuangxin-3 on 6 and 9 August, it completed an unexpected rendezvous in a 564 x 610 km x 97.7 deg orbit with the Shi Jian 7 (SJ-7), launched in 2005..
  • Chuangxin 3 - . Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Ban Xing. Spacecraft: Ban Xing. USAF Sat Cat: 39209 . COSPAR: 2013-037B. Apogee: 673 km (418 mi). Perigee: 665 km (413 mi). Inclination: 98.0400 deg. Period: 98.12 min. Served as target for the Shiyan 7 satellite inspector / robotic arm test vehicle..
  • SJ-15 - . Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-6. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 39210 . COSPAR: 2013-037C. Apogee: 608 km (377 mi). Perigee: 563 km (349 mi). Inclination: 97.6800 deg. Period: 96.39 min.

    Thought to be carrying out observations of space debris. Made a slight orbit adjustment of 1 km on 15 October to a 660 km x 675 km orbit, then released a new object, 2013-037J, with which it maintained stationkeeping within 2 km. The new object was perhaps a target subsatellite, possibly passive, for experiments with proximity operations.


2013 July 24 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2013 September 1 - . 19:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 17A - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 39239 . COSPAR: 2013-046A. Apogee: 1,116 km (693 mi). Perigee: 1,065 km (661 mi). Inclination: 63.4100 deg. Period: 107.05 min.

    Triplet of naval surveillance satellites, believed to operate like the old US PARCAE/NOSS system, in which a group of loosely formation-flying spacecraft locate radio emitters using the difference in time of arrival of the radio signals at the different satellites.

  • Yaogan 17B - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 39240 . COSPAR: 2013-046B. Apogee: 1,116 km (693 mi). Perigee: 1,065 km (661 mi). Inclination: 63.4100 deg. Period: 107.05 min.
  • Yaogan 17C - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 39241 . COSPAR: 2013-046C. Apogee: 1,116 km (693 mi). Perigee: 1,064 km (661 mi). Inclination: 63.4100 deg. Period: 107.05 min.

2013 September 23 - . 03:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Pad: LC9. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • FY-3-03 - . Payload: Fengyun-3C. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: China. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-3. Spacecraft: FY-3. USAF Sat Cat: 39260 . COSPAR: 2013-052A. Apogee: 828 km (514 mi). Perigee: 827 km (513 mi). Inclination: 98.7700 deg. Period: 101.45 min. Third Fengyun-3 polar orbiting meteorological satellite..

2013 September 25 - . 04:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: Kuaizhou.
  • Kuaizhou-1 - . Payload: KZ-1. Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Kuaizhou satellite. Spacecraft: Kuaizhou satellite. Decay Date: 2015-09-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 39262 . COSPAR: 2013-053A. Apogee: 301 km (187 mi). Perigee: 279 km (173 mi). Inclination: 96.5900 deg. Period: 90.31 min.

    First launch of China's Kuaizhou small quick-response launch vehicle. "Kuaizhou" means "Swift Boat". The solid propellant vehicle is thought to be built by CASIC in collaboration with the Harbin Institute of Technology and may be a derivative of the DF-21 family, like the failed KT-1 launch vehicle of 2002-2003. Development of the rocket began in 2010. The satellite's initial orbit was 275 x 293 km x 96.7 deg, raised on 27 September to 299 x 306 km. The satellite payload is operated by the State Remote Sensing Center. The satellite maneuvered following launch: its initial 275 x 293 km orbit, was raised on September 27 to 299 x 306 km. The orbit decayed to 279 x 288 km and then was raised on October 17 to 288 x 321 km; after a further decay another reboost on November 1 restored the orbit to 290 x 317 km. The third reboost on November 19 raised the orbit from 267 x 294 km to 287 x 322 km.


2013 October 25 - . 03:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Pad: xxx. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • SJ-16 - . Payload: SJ-16. Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-6. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 39358 . COSPAR: 2013-057A. Apogee: 614 km (381 mi). Perigee: 599 km (372 mi). Inclination: 74.9800 deg. Period: 96.82 min. The mission of SJ-16 is unknown; the orbit represents a new profile for the series. The SJ ('practice') series satellites carry a mix of technology development and military payloads..

2013 October 29 - . 02:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Pad: xxx. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Yaogan 18 - . Payload: Jianbing 7. Mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-7. USAF Sat Cat: 39363 . COSPAR: 2013-059A. Apogee: 514 km (319 mi). Perigee: 510 km (310 mi). Inclination: 97.5200 deg. Period: 94.87 min. The third in a satellite series that began with Yaogan 6 and 13..

2013 November 20 - . 03:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Pad: xxx. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 19 - . Payload: Jianbing 9. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-9. USAF Sat Cat: 39410 . COSPAR: 2013-065A. Apogee: 1,208 km (750 mi). Perigee: 1,201 km (746 mi). Inclination: 100.4500 deg. Period: 109.51 min. Thought to be an imaging satellite similar to Yaogan 8..

2013 November 25 - . 02:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Pad: xxx. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Shiyan 5 Weixing - . Payload: SY-5. Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 39455 . COSPAR: 2013-068A. Apogee: 755 km (469 mi). Perigee: 739 km (459 mi). Inclination: 97.9600 deg. Period: 99.76 min. Experiment Satellite No 5..

2013 December 1 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Pad: xxx. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Chang'e 3 - . Mass: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb). Nation: China. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft Bus: Chang'e. Spacecraft: Chang'e. Decay Date: 2013-12-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 39458 . COSPAR: 2013-070A.

    Unmanned lunar rover. Boosted into a 210 x 389 109 km x 28.5 deg lunar transfer orbit. On December 6 at 09:50 GMT the spacecraft entered a 100 km polar orbit around the Moon. The 3,800 kg wet / 1,200 kg at landing spacecraft had a descent engine and landing legs, and a variety of lunar surface science experiments. It also carried Yutu, a small 140 kg rover. On December 10 at 13:20 GMT the orbit was lowered from 100 x 100 to 15 x 100 km. At 12:59:52 GMT December 14, near perilune, the descent engine was turned on to decelerate the probe and fly it down to the surface. Chang'e-3 touched down at 13:11:18 GMT, at 19.51W 44.12N, about 43 km south of crater Laplace F in the Mare Imbrium. This was the first lunar soft landing since the USSR's Luna-24 in 1976.

  • Yutu - . Mass: 140 kg (300 lb). Nation: China. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar rover. Spacecraft Bus: Yutu. Spacecraft: Yutu. USAF Sat Cat: 39459 . COSPAR: 2013-070B. Apogee: 884,144 km (549,380 mi). Perigee: 23,826 km (14,804 mi). Inclination: 26.7700 deg. Period: 51,809.63 min.

    Lunar rover delivered to lunar surface by Chang'e-3. At 20:35 GMT on December 14 the `Yutu hao' (`rabbit') rover drove down the Chang'e-3 ramp onto the lunar surface. Yutu and Chang'e-3 are both solar powered, but also carry small Pu-238 radioactive heater units to keep systems from freezing during the 14-day lunar night. Yutu had six wheels.


2014 January 9 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Hypersonic RV - . Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

2014 February 6 - . 21:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ECA.
  • ABS 2 - . Mass: 6,330 kg (13,950 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FS-1300. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 39508 . COSPAR: 2014-006A. Apogee: 35,801 km (22,245 mi). Perigee: 35,772 km (22,227 mi). Inclination: 0.0300 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    Communications satellite for Hong-Kong-based Asia Broadcast Satellite. Stationed at 75 deg E, serving four continents: 6 dedicated high powered Ku-band beams for DTH services in the Eastern Hemisphere; C-band beams for Africa and SE Asia connectivity requirements; Ka-band beam targeting the MENA region for commercial and military applications.


2002 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Dong Feng 5A.
  • Nation: China. Agency: XPRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2014 March 31 - . 02:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • SJ-11-06 - . Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-11. Spacecraft: SJ-11. USAF Sat Cat: 39624 . COSPAR: 2014-014A. Apogee: 704 km (437 mi). Perigee: 688 km (427 mi). Inclination: 98.2500 deg. Period: 98.68 min. Sixth satellite in China's Shi Jian 11 constellation, replacing SJ11-01 in that orbital slot. The SJ11 satellites were rumoured to carry infrared sensors of some kind..

2014 July 23 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-11. Launch Vehicle: B-611.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

2014 July 23 - . Launch Site: Urumqi. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: DF-21.
  • Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

2014 July 23 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan.
  • Target - . Nation: China. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Test flight..

2014 August 5 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. Launch Pad: SLC40. LV Family: Falcon. Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9.
  • Asiasat 8 - . Payload: LS-1300LL. Mass: 4,535 kg (9,997 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SPX. Spacecraft Bus: FS-1300. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 40107 . COSPAR: 2014-046A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,784 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 0.0500 deg. Period: 1,436.14 min.

    Used an R-4D bipropellant thruster to reach GEO. The first R-4D burn on August 6 raised the orbit from 180 km x 35,762 km x 24.3 deg to 7,137 x 35,751 km x 10.7 deg. By August 11 the satellite was in a 35,725 x 35,732 km x 0.1 deg orbit drifting east over 104 deg E.


2014 August 7 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Hypersonic RV - . Nation: China. Agency: PLA2AC. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi). Claimed to be a test of a hypersonic glide reentry vehicle. Based on images from the impact site of one of the stages, the launch appeared to have used a large liquid fuelled booster, possibly a modified CZ-2C..

2014 August 9 - . 05:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 20b - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 40110 . COSPAR: 2014-047B. Apogee: 1,094 km (679 mi). Perigee: 1,087 km (675 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.05 min.
  • Yaogan 20c - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 40111 . COSPAR: 2014-047C. Apogee: 1,094 km (679 mi). Perigee: 1,087 km (675 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.05 min.
  • Yaogan 20a - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 40109 . COSPAR: 2014-047A. Apogee: 1,066 km (662 mi). Perigee: 1,054 km (654 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 106.41 min. Triplet satellites, the fourth in a series; previous triplet clusters were Yaogan 9, 16 and 17. They were thought to be analogous to the old US NOSS/PARCAE ocean surveillance system..

2014 August 19 - . 03:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Pad: LC9. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • Gaofen 2 - . Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 40118 . COSPAR: 2014-049A. Apogee: 636 km (395 mi). Perigee: 620 km (380 mi). Inclination: 98.0200 deg. Period: 97.26 min. High resolution imaging satellite with a 0.80 m resolution with 48 km swath, in a 10:20 local time at descending node sun-synchronous orbit..

2014 September 4 - . 00:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Chuangxin 1-04 - . Mass: 90 kg (198 lb). Nation: China. Spacecraft Bus: CX-1. Spacecraft: CX-1. USAF Sat Cat: 40137 . COSPAR: 2014-051B. Apogee: 810 km (500 mi). Perigee: 777 km (482 mi). Inclination: 98.4500 deg. Period: 100.74 min. Satellite from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, for message data relay, in a sun syncronous orbit with 06:30 local time of descending node..
  • Ling Qiao - . Mass: 135 kg (297 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Ling Qiao. Spacecraft: Ling Qiao. USAF Sat Cat: 40136 . COSPAR: 2014-051A. Apogee: 809 km (502 mi). Perigee: 777 km (482 mi). Inclination: 98.4500 deg. Period: 100.73 min. Smart Communications Test Satellite, a joint venture of Tsinghua University and Xinwei Telecom, for tests of multimedia data transmission, in a sun syncronous orbit with 06:30 local time of descending node..

2014 September 7 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. Launch Pad: Cape Canaveral SLC40. LV Family: Falcon. Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 v1.1.
  • Asiasat 6 - . Mass: 4,428 kg (9,762 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FS-1300. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 40141 . COSPAR: 2014-052A. Apogee: 35,788 km (22,237 mi). Perigee: 35,785 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 0.0200 deg. Period: 1,436.09 min.

    Communications satellite for Asiasat, a Hong Kong based telecom company. The satellite had C and Ku band communications payloads and an additional C-band payload for the Thai operator Thaicom; this payload was marketed as Thaicom 7. Stationed over 119.8 deg E.


2014 September 8 - . 03:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • Yaogan 21 - . Payload: Jianbing 8. Mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-10. USAF Sat Cat: 40143 . COSPAR: 2014-053A. Apogee: 498 km (309 mi). Perigee: 480 km (290 mi). Inclination: 97.3900 deg. Period: 94.39 min. Imaging satellite in a sun synchronous orbit with a 10:30 local time descending node. The mission continued a series begun with the Zi Yuan 2 satellites..
  • Tiantuo 2 - . Mass: 67 kg (147 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Tiantuo. Spacecraft: Tiantuo. USAF Sat Cat: 40144 . COSPAR: 2014-053B. Apogee: 485 km (301 mi). Perigee: 469 km (291 mi). Inclination: 97.3900 deg. Period: 94.15 min. Satellites built by the National University for Defense Technology; this one carried video imaging experiments..

2014 September 28 - . 05:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • SJ-11-07 - . Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-11. Spacecraft: SJ-11. USAF Sat Cat: 40261 . COSPAR: 2014-059A. Apogee: 700 km (430 mi). Perigee: 684 km (425 mi). Inclination: 98.1000 deg. Period: 98.61 min. Seventh satellite in the Shi Jian 11 constellation, thought perhaps to be used for infrared missile tracking and early warning..

2014 October 20 - . 06:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 22 - . Payload: Jianbing 9. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-9. USAF Sat Cat: 40275 . COSPAR: 2014-063A. Apogee: 1,207 km (749 mi). Perigee: 1,198 km (744 mi). Inclination: 100.3600 deg. Period: 109.48 min. Sun synchronous orbit; 1330 GMT local time of the descending node..

2014 October 23 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C/G2.
  • Chang'e-5 RRFV - . Payload: CHANG E 5-T1. Nation: China. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft Bus: Chang'e-5 RRFV. Spacecraft: Chang'e-5 RRFV. Decay Date: 2014-10-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 40283 . COSPAR: 2014-065A. Apogee: 404,729 km (251,486 mi). Perigee: -1,281 km (-1,281 mi). Inclination: 30.5000 deg. Reentry vehicle portion of Chang'e-5. The craft made an 8-day flight to loop around the Moon and return to Earth. The reentry vehicle separated from the main bus at 21:53 GMT and landed north of Hohhot at 22:42 GMT..
  • Chang'e-5 Flight Test Vehicle - . Payload: RRFV. Nation: China. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft Bus: Chang'e-5. Spacecraft: Chang'e-5. COSPAR: 2014-065.

    Chang'e-5 Flight Test Vehicle, also called the Reentry Return Flight Test Mission. The spacecraft was launched into a 209 km x 413,000 km lunar transfer orbit. The vehicle was a precursor to the planned Chang'e-5 mission and consisted of a satellite bus similar to the Chang'e-2 lunar orbiter, topped with a reentry vehicle, a subscale version of the Shenzhou landing module. The craft made an 8-day flight to loop around the Moon and return to Earth. It passed 11,300 km from the Moon on October 27 and returned to Earth on October 31. The descent capsule separated from the main vehicle at 21:53 GMT and landed north of Hohhot at 22:42 GMT. The service module made a burn at 21:56 GMT to avoid reentry and swung past the Earth to head out towards the Earth-Moon L2 point. Stationed at L2 Lagrangian point.


2014 October 27 - . 06:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • SJ-11-08 - . Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SJ-11. Spacecraft: SJ-11. USAF Sat Cat: 40286 . COSPAR: 2014-066A. Apogee: 700 km (430 mi). Perigee: 681 km (423 mi). Inclination: 98.2500 deg. Period: 98.58 min. Eighth and final satellite in the Shi Jian 11 series, believed to be a military surveillance satellite of some kind. Sun synchronous orbit; 1315 GMT local time of the descending node..

2014 November 14 - . 18:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2C.
  • Yaogan 23 - . Payload: Jianbing 7. Mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-7. USAF Sat Cat: 40305 . COSPAR: 2014-071A. Apogee: 513 km (318 mi). Perigee: 511 km (317 mi). Inclination: 97.3700 deg. Period: 94.87 min. Sun synchronous orbit; 0200 GMT local time of the descending node..

2014 November 20 - . 07:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Yaogan 24 - . Payload: Jianbing 6. Mass: 1,300 kg (2,800 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-6. USAF Sat Cat: 40310 . COSPAR: 2014-072A. Apogee: 652 km (405 mi). Perigee: 627 km (389 mi). Inclination: 97.9500 deg. Period: 97.51 min. Imaging spy satellite in the same series as Yaogan 2, 4, 7, and 11. The CZ-2D second stage was deorbited after deploying the satellite. Sun synchronous orbit; 1330 GMT local time of the descending node..

2014 November 21 - . 06:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-21. Launch Vehicle: Kuaizhou.
  • Kuaizhou-2 - . Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Kuaizhou satellite. Spacecraft: Kuaizhou satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40311 . COSPAR: 2014-073A. Apogee: 318 km (197 mi). Perigee: 283 km (175 mi). Inclination: 96.5000 deg. Period: 90.53 min.

    Second launch of the Chinese 2nd Artillery's operationally responsive Kuaizhou (Swift Boat) launch vehicle with a military payload. Kuaizhou 1 was launched to a similar sun synchronous orbit with 11:00 local time of the descending node in September 2013; after regular maintenance burns for a year, during October 2014 Kuaizhou 1's orbit was raised to 365 x 390 km. Kuaizhou-2 was in a sun synchronous orbit; 1300 GMT local time of the descending node.


2014 December 7 - . 03:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan LC9. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC9. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • CBERS-4 - . Mass: 2,100 kg (4,600 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Phoenix Eye. Spacecraft: Phoenix Eye. USAF Sat Cat: 40336 . COSPAR: 2014-079A. Apogee: 774 km (480 mi). Perigee: 773 km (480 mi). Inclination: 98.5100 deg. Period: 100.32 min. China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite 4. The uprated ZY-1 class satellite replaced CBERS 3 which was lost in a launch failure a year earlier. Sun synchronous orbit; 1030 GMT local time of the descending node..

2014 December 10 - . 19:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 25a - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 40338 . COSPAR: 2014-080A. Apogee: 1,106 km (687 mi). Perigee: 1,074 km (667 mi). Inclination: 63.4100 deg. Period: 107.05 min. Fifth Yaogan mission. Each consisted of a main satellite and two subsatellites..
  • Yaogan 25b - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 40339 . COSPAR: 2014-080B. Apogee: 1,106 km (687 mi). Perigee: 1,074 km (667 mi). Inclination: 63.4100 deg. Period: 107.05 min.
  • Yaogan 25c - . Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 40340 . COSPAR: 2014-080C. Apogee: 1,106 km (687 mi). Perigee: 1,074 km (667 mi). Inclination: 63.4100 deg. Period: 107.05 min.

2014 December 13 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: DF-31. Launch Vehicle: DF-41.
  • RVs ? - . Nation: China. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Test flight..

2014 December 27 - . 03:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan LC9. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC9. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • Yaogan 26 - . Payload: Jianbing 8. Mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-8. USAF Sat Cat: 40362 . COSPAR: 2014-088A. Apogee: 489 km (303 mi). Perigee: 484 km (300 mi). Inclination: 97.4100 deg. Period: 94.34 min. The profile was similar to the Yaogan 5 series of imaging satellites, but the rocket used a larger nose fairing, so this was likely an upgrade. Sun synchronous orbit; 1030 GMT local time of the descending node..

2014 December 31 - . 01:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • FY-2-08 - . Mass: 1,380 kg (3,040 lb). Nation: China. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FY-2. Spacecraft: FY-2. USAF Sat Cat: 40367 . COSPAR: 2014-090A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 1.6300 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Eighth FY-2 weather satellite for China's National Satellite Monitoring Centre. The satellite was placed in GEO using a solid apogee motor which was then ejected.. Stationed in geosynchronous orbit at 100 deg east..

2015 March 2 - . 03:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. Launch Pad: Cape Canaveral SLC40. LV Family: Falcon. Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 v1.1.
  • ABS-3A - . Payload: BSS-702SP. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 702. Spacecraft: HS 702. USAF Sat Cat: 40424 . COSPAR: 2015-010A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0100 deg. Period: 1,436.12 min.

    Dual communications satellite payload placed initially in a supersynchronous transfer orbit. Falcon 9 reached a 174 km x 953 km parking orbit 9 minutes after launch, and then made a second burn over the equator to a 391 km x 63452 km x 24.8 deg orbit. The two payloads were 2000 kg Boeing BSS-702SP models with XIPS-25 ion thrusters as their main propulsion system. ABS-3A, for Asia Broadcast Satellite of Hong Kong, was launched directly attached to the lower satellite, Eutelsat 115 West B, until it separated from the stack following stage 2 second cutoff.


2015 March 30 - . 13:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3C/YZ1.
  • Beidou I1-S - . Payload: Beidou DW 17 / Beidou 3i. Mass: 850 kg (1,870 lb). Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou 3. Spacecraft: Beidou 3. USAF Sat Cat: 40549 . COSPAR: 2015-019A. Apogee: 35,985 km (22,360 mi). Perigee: 35,599 km (22,120 mi). Inclination: 54.8500 deg. Period: 1,436.39 min.

    First in the Beidou-3 generation of Chinese navigation satellites. For the first time the CZ-3C rocket used an additional fourth stage, the Yuanzheng-1 (Expedition-1). The stage used UDMH/N2O4 storable propellants like the Briz-M or Fregat, but had an even lower thrust - only 6.5 kN - and so will need yet longer burn times.


2015 June 26 - . 06:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • Gaofen 8 - . Payload: OBJECT A. Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 40701 . COSPAR: 2015-030A. Apogee: 490 km (300 mi). Perigee: 482 km (299 mi). Inclination: 97.3200 deg. Period: 94.33 min.

    High resolution imaging satellite. The previous two Gaofen satellites, 1 and 2, were civilian operated and extensively described before launch. GF-8 was said to be civilian as well, but was not discussed prior to the launch, indicating it was used for military imaging. Sun synchronous orbit; 1330 GMT local time of the descending node.


2015 July 25 - . 12:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Beidou M1-S - . Payload: Beidou DW 18 / Beidou 3m. Mass: 850 kg (1,870 lb). Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou 3. Spacecraft: Beidou 3. USAF Sat Cat: 40748 . COSPAR: 2015-037A. Apogee: 21,547 km (13,388 mi). Perigee: 21,509 km (13,365 mi). Inclination: 55.0600 deg. Period: 773.24 min.

    Single launch of the first two of the third generation medium-orbit Beidou satellites. The CZ-3B launch vehicle deployed the YZ-1 upper stage in a 189 km x 18390 km x 55 deg transfer orbit. CZ-3B stage 3 coasted in a low parking orbit for only a minute or so before its second burn to the elliptical orbit. The YZ-1 then separated and made its first burn almost immediately at about 12:45 GMT, raising apogee to 22,000 km. The Beidou/YZ-1 stack then coasted to apogee and at about 16:10 GMT the YZ-1 made a second burn to circularize the orbit. The two payloads were quickly released in a 21,523 km x 22,193 km x 55 deg orbit. At about 16:20 GMT YZ-1 made a disposal burn to a 22,151 x 27,736 km x 55 deg orbit.

  • Beidou M2-S - . Payload: Beidou DW 19 / Beidou 3m. Mass: 850 kg (1,870 lb). Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou 3. Spacecraft: Beidou 3. USAF Sat Cat: 40749 . COSPAR: 2015-037B. Apogee: 21,547 km (13,388 mi). Perigee: 21,510 km (13,360 mi). Inclination: 55.0600 deg. Period: 773.27 min.

2015 August 27 - . 02:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC9. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4C.
  • Yaogan 27 - . Payload: Jianbing 9. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-9. USAF Sat Cat: 40878 . COSPAR: 2015-040A. Apogee: 1,207 km (749 mi). Perigee: 1,193 km (741 mi). Inclination: 100.4800 deg. Period: 109.43 min. The 27th Yaogan remote sensing satellite. Fifth in the Yaogan High A series and appeared to replace the first, Yaogan 8, in a sun synchronous orbit with a 09:30 local time longitude of descending node..

2015 September 12 - . 15:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Tongxin Jisshu SW1 - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 40892 . COSPAR: 2015-046A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0800 deg. Period: 1,436.05 min.

    Tongxing Jisshu Shiyan Weixing yi hao (Communications Engineering Test Satellite No. 1). Military satellite; speculation was that it was the first in a constellation of ballistic missile early warning satellites. The booster's upper stage reached a 208 km x 635 km x 27.1 deg parking orbit 10 minutes after launch and coasted to the equator, where a second burn at 16:01 GMT sent the stage and payload to a 195 km x 35,814 km x 27.1 deg geotransfer orbit.


2015 September 14 - . 04:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-2. Launch Pad: Jiuquan LC603. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Gaofen 9 - . Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: CAST2000. Spacecraft: CAST2000. USAF Sat Cat: 40894 . COSPAR: 2015-047A. Apogee: 666 km (413 mi). Perigee: 617 km (383 mi). Inclination: 98.0100 deg. Period: 97.55 min. High resolution imaging satellite. GF-9 have replaced GF-1, launched in 2013 to a similar sun synchronous orbit (11:00 local time longitude of descending node)..

2015 September 19 - . 23:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC16. LV Family: CZ-NGLV. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 6.
  • Kaituo-1 - . Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Kaituo. Spacecraft: Kaituo. USAF Sat Cat: 40899 . COSPAR: 2015-049A. Apogee: 537 km (333 mi). Perigee: 513 km (318 mi). Inclination: 97.4500 deg. Period: 95.13 min. Satellite from Shenzen DFH Company, also called XY 2 (Xinyan-2 or NewTech-2), which tested electric propulsion Hall thrusters. Deployed the DCBB subsatellite..
  • Zhineng hao - . Payload: NUDT-PHONESAT. Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40900 . COSPAR: 2015-049B. Apogee: 536 km (333 mi). Perigee: 511 km (317 mi). Inclination: 97.4500 deg. Period: 95.11 min.

    Zhineng hao shouji weixing (Smart Phone Satellite), a 1 kg satellite also known as NUDT-Phone-Sat, built around the motherboard of an Android smartphone. Deployed four Xingchen 100 gram picosats. The overall experiment was to control a cluster of satellites using intersatellite communications.

  • Zheda Pixing 2A - . Payload: ZDPS 2A. Mass: 12 kg (26 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40901 . COSPAR: 2015-049C. Apogee: 537 km (333 mi). Perigee: 514 km (319 mi). Inclination: 97.4600 deg. Period: 95.14 min. One of a pair of Zhejian University (Hangzhou, Zhejiang) satellites to test MEMS microelectronic technology, including a small deployable truss antenna on top of each satellite..
  • Zheda Pixing 2B - . Payload: ZDPS 2B. Mass: 12 kg (26 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40902 . COSPAR: 2015-049D. Apogee: 537 km (333 mi). Perigee: 514 km (319 mi). Inclination: 97.4500 deg. Period: 95.15 min. One of a pair of Zhejian University (Hangzhou, Zhejiang) satellites to test MEMS microelectronic technology, including a small deployable truss antenna on top of each satellite..
  • Xiwang-2A - . Payload: XW-2A. Mass: 25 kg (55 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40903 . COSPAR: 2015-049E. Apogee: 475 km (295 mi). Perigee: 453 km (281 mi). Inclination: 97.4500 deg. Period: 93.87 min.

    The XiWang-2 ('Hope') cluster of amateur radio satellites was from CAMSAT, the Chinese AMSAT chapter, and Aerospace DFH Satellite Co (Beijing). The 25 kg XW-2A carried two 1.5 kg subsatellites, XW-2E/2F, while the 10 kg XW-2B, 2C and 2D satellites were deployed directly from the rocket third stage.

  • Luliang-1 - . Payload: KAITUO 1A. Mass: 20 kg (44 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40904 . COSPAR: 2015-049F. Apogee: 539 km (334 mi). Perigee: 515 km (320 mi). Inclination: 97.4600 deg. Period: 95.18 min.

    The Tiantuo-3 constellation was from the National University of Defense Technology (Guofang Keji Daxue Yan) in Changsha, Hunan. Its primary satellite, the 20 kg, Luliang-1, was developed in collaboration with the municipal government of Luliang city in Shanxi, near the Taiyuan launch site, for tests of AIS (ship tracking) and ADS-B (airplane data relay) systems. Luliang-1 ejected the Zhineng hao shouji weixing (Smart Phone Satellite), a 1 kg satellite also known as NUDT-Phone-Sat,

  • Naxing-2 - . Payload: OBJECT G. Mass: 20 kg (44 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40905 . COSPAR: 2015-049G. Apogee: 542 km (336 mi). Perigee: 517 km (321 mi). Inclination: 97.4500 deg. Period: 95.23 min. Tsinghua University (Beijing)'s Naxing-2 (Nanosatellite-2, NS-2) had a mass of 20 kg and tested MEMS microelectronic components and carried small Beidou/GPS receivers. It also deployed the Zijing 1 and 2 picosats..
  • Xiwang-2C - . Payload: XW-2C. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40906 . COSPAR: 2015-049H. Apogee: 541 km (336 mi). Perigee: 516 km (320 mi). Inclination: 97.4600 deg. Period: 95.21 min. Part of the XiWang-2 ('Hope') cluster of amateur radio satellites was from CAMSAT, the Chinese AMSAT chapter, and Aerospace DFH Satellite Co (Beijing). The 10 kg XW-2B, 2C and 2D satellites were deployed directly from the rocket third stage..
  • Xiwang-2D - . Payload: XW-2D. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40907 . COSPAR: 2015-049J. Apogee: 541 km (336 mi). Perigee: 517 km (321 mi). Inclination: 97.4500 deg. Period: 95.21 min. Part of the XiWang-2 ('Hope') cluster of amateur radio satellites was from CAMSAT, the Chinese AMSAT chapter, and Aerospace DFH Satellite Co (Beijing). The 10 kg XW-2B, 2C and 2D satellites were deployed directly from the rocket third stage..
  • Zidingxiang-2 - . Payload: LILACSAT 2. Mass: 11 kg (24 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40908 . COSPAR: 2015-049K. Apogee: 543 km (337 mi). Perigee: 518 km (321 mi). Inclination: 97.4600 deg. Period: 95.25 min. Zidingxiang-2 ("LilacSat-2") was from the Harbin Institute of Technology in Heilongjiang province, in China's far northeast. The 11 kg satellite carries an ADS-B reciever, and an FPGA radiation exposure test..
  • Xiwang-2E - . Payload: XW-2E. Mass: 2.00 kg (4.40 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40909 . COSPAR: 2015-049L. Apogee: 539 km (334 mi). Perigee: 515 km (320 mi). Inclination: 97.4600 deg. Period: 95.18 min. 1.5 kg amateur radio subsatellite deployed from the XW-2A..
  • Xiwang-2F - . Payload: XW-2F. Mass: 2.00 kg (4.40 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40910 . COSPAR: 2015-049M. Apogee: 541 km (336 mi). Perigee: 516 km (320 mi). Inclination: 97.4600 deg. Period: 95.21 min. 1.5 kg amateur radio subsatellite deployed from the XW-2A..
  • Xiwang-2B - . Payload: XW-2B. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 40911 . COSPAR: 2015-049N. Apogee: 540 km (330 mi). Perigee: 517 km (321 mi). Inclination: 97.4600 deg. Period: 95.21 min. Part of the XiWang-2 ('Hope') cluster of amateur radio satellites was from CAMSAT, the Chinese AMSAT chapter, and Aerospace DFH Satellite Co (Beijing). The 10 kg XW-2B, 2C and 2D satellites were deployed directly from the rocket third stage..
  • DCBB - . Payload: KAITUO 1B. Mass: 2.00 kg (4.40 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Cubesat. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 40912 . COSPAR: 2015-049P. Apogee: 536 km (333 mi). Perigee: 510 km (310 mi). Inclination: 97.4600 deg. Period: 95.10 min. 2U cubesat with an amateur radio payload..
  • Xingchen 1 - . Mass: 0 kg (0 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. COSPAR: 2015-049. Apogee: 536 km (333 mi). Perigee: 515 km (320 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. Xingchen ('Starlight') 100 gram picosat, deployed from the Zhineng hao / NUDT-Phone-Sat, measuring only 98 x 98 x 7mm in size..
  • Xingchen 2 - . Mass: 0 kg (0 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. COSPAR: 2015-049. Apogee: 536 km (333 mi). Perigee: 515 km (320 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. Xingchen ('Starlight') 100 gram picosat, deployed from the Zhineng hao / NUDT-Phone-Sat..
  • Xingchen 3 - . Mass: 0 kg (0 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. COSPAR: 2015-049. Apogee: 536 km (333 mi). Perigee: 515 km (320 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. Xingchen ('Starlight') 100 gram picosat, deployed from the Zhineng hao / NUDT-Phone-Sat..
  • Xingchen 4 - . Mass: 0 kg (0 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. COSPAR: 2015-049. Apogee: 536 km (333 mi). Perigee: 515 km (320 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. Xingchen ('Starlight') 100 gram picosat, deployed from the Zhineng hao / NUDT-Phone-Sat..
  • Zijing-1 - . Mass: 0 kg (0 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. COSPAR: 2015-049. Apogee: 541 km (336 mi). Perigee: 519 km (322 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. 234 gram picosat deployed from Naxing-2..
  • Kongjian Shiyan 1 - . Mass: 0 kg (0 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. COSPAR: 2015-049. Apogee: 541 km (336 mi). Perigee: 519 km (322 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. 173 gram picosat, also called Ziging-2, deployed from Naxing-2. Built by the Xi'an University of Electronic Science and Technology (Xidian) in Jiangxi..

2015 September 25 - . 01:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-2. Launch Pad: Jiuquan SLS-E. LV Family: CZ-NGLV. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 11.
  • Pujiang-1 - . Mass: 300 kg (660 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Pujiang. Spacecraft: Pujiang. USAF Sat Cat: 40925 . COSPAR: 2015-051A. Apogee: 487 km (302 mi). Perigee: 465 km (288 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.13 min.

    First launch of the CZ-11 solid-fuel, four-stage, light launch vehicle, though to be related to the DF-31 and DF-41 ICBMs. Pujiang, the Chinese Technology Experiment Satellite, was designed to promote the construction of smart cities in China, by monitoring urban weather, traffic and population density. It was the first Chinese satellite to use 3D printing for the titanium structure of its antenna. It included a Wi-Fi router providing a communication network between the three Tianwang cubesats released on the same launch.

  • Shangkeda-2 - . Payload: TIANWANG 1C (TW-1C). Mass: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Cubesat. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 40926 . COSPAR: 2015-051B. Apogee: 485 km (301 mi). Perigee: 460 km (280 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.04 min.

    Part of the Tianwang constallation of three CubeSats for space networking experiments. Codeveloped by the Shanghai Engineering Center for Microsatellites (SECM), the Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NJUST), GomSpace Denmark, Tekever Space Portugal and NanoSpace Sweden.

  • NJUST-2 - . Payload: TIANWANG 1B (TW-1B). Mass: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Cubesat. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 40927 . COSPAR: 2015-051C. Apogee: 485 km (301 mi). Perigee: 462 km (287 mi). Inclination: 97.3100 deg. Period: 94.07 min.
  • NJFA-1 - . Payload: TIANWANG 1A (TW-1A). Mass: 3.00 kg (6.60 lb). Nation: China. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Cubesat. Spacecraft: Cubesat. USAF Sat Cat: 40928 . COSPAR: 2015-051D. Apogee: 485 km (301 mi). Perigee: 463 km (287 mi). Inclination: 97.2900 deg. Period: 94.08 min.

2015 September 29 - . 23:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC3. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B/G2.
  • Beidou I2-S - . Payload: Beidou DW 20 / Beidou 3i. Mass: 850 kg (1,870 lb). Nation: China. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Beidou 3. Spacecraft: Beidou 3. USAF Sat Cat: 40938 . COSPAR: 2015-053A. Apogee: 35,962 km (22,345 mi). Perigee: 35,602 km (22,122 mi). Inclination: 54.9800 deg. Period: 1,435.85 min. The first Beidou navigation satellite to carry a hydrogen-maser-based clock. Also called Beidou-3 I-2S, deployed in an inclined synchronous orbit. Unlike the previous two flights, this mission did not appear to have used the YZ-1 upper stage..

2015 October 7 - . 04:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Jilin-1 Optical A - . Mass: 420 kg (920 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jilin. Spacecraft: Jilin. USAF Sat Cat: 40958 . COSPAR: 2015-057A. Apogee: 666 km (413 mi). Perigee: 639 km (397 mi). Inclination: 98.0400 deg. Period: 97.78 min.

    Satellite cluster deployed in a single launch, described as China's first commercial imaging satellite system, built by the Chang Guang Satellite Technology Company, a spinoff of the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP) in Jilin province. The 420-kg main satellite had an 0.7 m resolution imager. Two 92-kg 'smart video imaging satellites' and a single 50-kg 'smart imaging verification satellite' completed the cluster.

  • Jilin-1 Video 1 - . Mass: 95 kg (209 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jilin. Spacecraft: Jilin. USAF Sat Cat: 40959 . COSPAR: 2015-057B. Apogee: 665 km (413 mi). Perigee: 638 km (396 mi). Inclination: 98.0400 deg. Period: 97.77 min. One of two 'smart video imaging' satellites in the Jilin cluster..
  • Jilin-1 Video 2 - . Mass: 95 kg (209 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jilin. Spacecraft: Jilin. USAF Sat Cat: 40960 . COSPAR: 2015-057C. Apogee: 665 km (413 mi). Perigee: 638 km (396 mi). Inclination: 98.0400 deg. Period: 97.76 min. One of two 'smart video imaging' satellites in the Jilin cluster..
  • Jilin-1 Tech Demo - . Mass: 50 kg (110 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jilin. Spacecraft: Jilin. USAF Sat Cat: 40961 . COSPAR: 2015-057D. Apogee: 665 km (413 mi). Perigee: 637 km (395 mi). Inclination: 98.0400 deg. Period: 97.75 min. 'Smart imaging verification satellite', part of the Jilin cluster..

2015 October 16 - . 16:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Apstar 9 - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 40982 . COSPAR: 2015-059A. Apogee: 35,763 km (22,222 mi). Perigee: 35,727 km (22,199 mi). Inclination: 0.0900 deg. Period: 1,433.98 min. Communications satellite for Hong Kong-based APT Satellite, with C- and Ku-band payloads..

2015 October 26 - . 07:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Tianhui 1-03 - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Tianhui. Spacecraft: Tianhui. USAF Sat Cat: 40988 . COSPAR: 2015-061A. Apogee: 501 km (311 mi). Perigee: 490 km (300 mi). Inclination: 97.3600 deg. Period: 94.52 min. Third Tianhui-1 cartography satellite, launched into the same local-time orbital plane as the prior two, with a 03:30 local time longitude of descending node sun synchronous orbit..

2015 October 31 - . 23:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: DF-11. Launch Vehicle: B-611.
  • Target - . Nation: China. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Target mission. Impacted Korla..
  • Interceptor - . Nation: China. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Interceptor mission..

2015 November 3 - . 16:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Zhongxing 2C - . Payload: Chinasat 2C / Shentong 2-2. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 41021 . COSPAR: 2015-063A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.5500 deg. Period: 1,436.09 min. Second of the second generation of the Shentong series, operated by the Chinese Army to provide secure voice and data Ku-band communications to the ground forces..

2015 November 8 - . 07:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 4B.
  • Yaogan 28 - . Payload: Jianbing 11. Mass: 2,800 kg (6,100 lb). Nation: China. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Jianbing. Spacecraft: JB-11. USAF Sat Cat: 41026 . COSPAR: 2015-064A. Apogee: 483 km (300 mi). Perigee: 459 km (285 mi). Inclination: 97.2500 deg. Period: 94.03 min. Thought to be the second Jianbing-11 imaging reconnaissance satellite with an 0.8 m resolution imager. Appeared to be a replacement for the first Jianbing-11, codenamed Yaogan 14. 04:14 local time longitude of descending node sun synchronous orbit..


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