China’s Gaofen-5 Satellite Sends Data Back to Earth

The Chinese satellite, Gaofen-5 that the country recently launched has sent data to earth. One of the Institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that they have successfully tracked and received data from the satellite. The size of the data is 60GB within a 9 minutes 32 seconds time frame. The satellite sent the data to the satellite ground station in Miyun, a town at the outskirts of Beijing.

A Long March 4C launch vehicle launched the satellite into a synchronous orbit on May 8. The vehicle lifted off from the Taiyuan Launch Center in North China. The lift-off time was 18:28 UTC. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced that the launch was successful one hour after the lift-off.

The satellite features greenhouse monitoring instruments, earth monitoring and atmospheric sensors, and a high definition multiple angled cameras. Gaofen-5 has a productive life of eight years. The Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology built the satellite, and it is based on the SAST-5000B bus.

The May 8 launch was China’s fourteenth launch in this year. The Gaofen-5 satellite is part of China High-resolution Earth Observation System (CHEOS) program. The program consists of a fleet of multi-spectrum imaging and synthetic aperture radar satellites.

The program is intended to provide spectral and spatial monitoring that will aid in disaster prevention and relief, climate, global change monitoring, hydrology, meteorology, and environmental management.

Other Gaofen satellites are already operating in space. The country launched three Gaofen-1 satellite in March this year, and the satellites have sent data back to earth. The satellites sent the images from low orbit. Gaofen-4 satellite is also in space, and that satellite operates in the geostationary orbit.

China will launch the Gaofen-6 satellite later this year. The satellite will also carry multispectral and panchromatic cameras.

The Long March 4C will launch another satellite later this month. The Long March 4C will launch a communication satellite on May 21. The satellite, Queqiao Chang’e-4 will launch about the Long March 4C from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center into an orbit located far beyond the moon.

China is attempting to land on one side of the moon that never faces the earth. The launching of the Queqiao Chang’e-4 satellite is part of the process that will facilitate the lunar mission that will happen around the end of 2018.

The May 8 launch is the fourteenth launch out of the potential forty launches planned for 2018.