Two Tianhui II-01 satellites were launched into sun-synchronous orbit by a Long March 4B carrier rocket at 6:52 am on April 30 from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in North China's Shanxi province.
It was the 303rd mission of the Long March series carrier rockets and the first launch this year by the Eighth Institute of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, which generally developed the Long March 4B.
The Long March 4B is a carrier rocket driven by normal temperature liquid propellant. It is able to launch various kinds of satellites together and single satellites with different orbital requirements.
To meet the need to launch two satellites with one rocket, the Long March 4B adopted the binary star connection configuration of a 3.35-meter diameter cowling and a same-sized adapter module for the first time.
The Long March 4B carrier rocket was first launched on May 10, 1999. It took a FY-1C weather satellite and a SJ-5 research satellite into orbit, demonstrating the development of China's aviation industry.
In the past 20 years, the Long March 4B has won the first prize of the National Defense Science and Technology Awards and the Second prize of the National Science and Technology Progress Awards.
The Long March 4B and 4C was launched six times in 2018, and the two types of carrier rockets are scheduled for about 10 missions this year according to Wang Yuping, deputy general director of Long March 4 development.
A Long March 4B launches two Tianhui II-01 satellites into orbit from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in North China's Shanxi province on April 30, 2019. [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
(Executive editor: Li Shuling)