China launched a Long March 6 carrier rocket to deploy 10 small satellites for an Argentine company on Friday, said China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, a State-owned space contractor.
The Long March 6 blasted off at 11:19 am at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the northern province of Shanxi, carrying 10 NewSat remote-sensing satellites, from NewSat 9 to 18, into low-Earth orbit, CASC said in a statement.
These satellites were developed by Satellogic, a private Argentine company that specializes in Earth-observation satellites, and are parts of the Aleph-1 network operated by the satellite company to obtain high-resolution land pictures for commercial clients.
Each of the Argentine satellites weighs 41 kilograms and carries multispectral and high-resolution imagers. They are expected to work at least three years in orbit.
Another three small Chinese satellites were also carried by this launch, the company added.
This has been the second time for China to use its rocket to lift the NewSat series satellites.
In January, a Long March 2D rocket was fired from the Taiyuan center to launch the NewSat 7 and 8 satellites.
The deployments were parts of a launch service contract signed in January 2019 by Satellogic and China Great Wall Industry, CASC's subsidiary in charge of commercial launch service.
According to the contract, Great Wall will use multiple Long March rockets to deploy 90 of Satellogic's Earth-observation satellites into space from the Taiyuan center.
After all the satellites are placed in orbit, they will form an Earth-observation satellite system capable of capturing images of the entire world with a 1-meter resolution on a weekly basis. The network is expected to dramatically reduce the cost of high-frequency geospatial analytics, Great Wall said.
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