China Keeps Up Busy Space Launch Schedule

BEIJING, Sept. 23 (UPI) — In the latest effort in China’s feverish pace of space exploration activities, it has successfully launched a secret military payload, authorities said.

It was the fifth launch in less than two months for China and the second launching in that time period of a clandestine Yaogan reconnaissance satellite, reported Thursday.

China’s recent rush to space includes a mysterious orbital rendezvous, an upcoming lunar probe and preparations for continued human missions.

Wednesday’s blastoff of a Long March 2D rocket from the Jiuquan space center in the desert of northwestern China placed Yaogan 11 and two smaller satellites on a path nearly 400 miles above Earth.

The Yaogan 11 will conduct scientific experiments, survey land resources, estimate crop yields and contribute to natural disaster response efforts, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The Yaogan satellites are believed to provide the Chinese military with high-resolution reconnaissance imagery, experts say.

Next year, China plans to send its Tiangong 1 module to space.

A series of unmanned and manned Shenzhou capsules will visit the module, forming a modest space station for long-duration research missions by Chinese astronauts, said.

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Categorized | Military, Other
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