China would launch its last Fengyun-2 satellite on June 5. The geostationary weather satellites will launch aboard the Long March 3A rocket. The rocket will lift-off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 13:10 UTC.
The satellite underwent space environmental tests last month before they transported the satellite to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering (SISE) developed the satellite under the auspices of the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology (SAST).
China is replacing Fengyun 1 and 2 satellites in orbit. This launch will be the 16th launch for the country this year. The country is aiming at up to 40 launches this year. China will double the number of launches the nation embarked on if the trend continues.
Last year, China launched 17 satellites and the country has already launched 15 times before the middle of 2018. The nation would also launch three other satellites in June. The first two satellites are the Beidou GNSS satellites which will launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center while the other one will launch from the Taiyuan launch center in North China.
One of the most anticipated missions for this year is the Chang’e-4 moon landing mission. China will launch the moon on the far side of the moon. China launched a relay satellite on the Lagrange point of the moon in May.
The relay satellite will relay information back to Earth. The country will launch the Chang’e-4 lander in the latter part of 2018. The lander will make a soft landing on the moon before landing at the far side of the moon.
China started its lunar exploration program in 2007. They launched the Chang’e-1 mission mapped the moon from orbit. They expected the lander to crash into the lunar surface in 2009 and the mission ended when the lander crashed.
The second mission saw the Chang’e-2 lander explore deeper space in 2010. In the third mission, China launched on the moon for the first time.
China is also planning the Chang’e-5 mission. They expect the fifth mission to launch in 2019 after a successful launch of the Chang’e-4 lander. China initially scheduled the Chang’e-5 mission for 2017, but the failure of the Long March 5C in 2017 delayed the mission.
The fifth mission will also explore the lunar surface and collect 2kg of lunar soil for research purposes. The Chang’e-4 is on schedule so far, and if everything goes as planned, the Chang’e-4 mission will happen by this year.