China Launches New Satellites, Marking 400th Mission of Long March Carrier Rockets

At 8:11 a.m. Beijing time on December 10, 2021, China successfully sent a new group of satellites into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. The launch marks the 400th mission of China’s Long March carrier rockets.

The satellites, Shijian-6 05, have now entered their planned orbit successfully. The rockets and satellites for this mission were developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology.

long march
(Source: Xinhua)

According to the official introduction, the satellites will be used for space exploration and new technology testing.

Long Lehao, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a chief designer of Long March rockets, said that carrier rockets, as vehicles for entering space, are the premise and foundation of all space activities, and also determine the depth and scale of China’s space exploration. After half a century’s development, the launch success rate of the Long March series rockets has reached 96%. In recent years, the technology has advanced greatly, and the reliability, success rate and orbit accuracy have reached a world-class level.

The launch marked the 400th mission of Long March series carrier rockets. From April 24, 1970, the inaugural Long March-1 carrier rocket successfully launched the Dongfanghong-1 satellite, and it took 37 years for the Long March series rockets to achieve the first 100 missions. The 101st-200th missions took more than seven years to accomplish. The 201st-300th missions took more than four years. Now, the 301st-400th missions took just 33 months to complete.

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