Spaceflight Now Home





Mission Reports




For 11 years, Spaceflight Now has been providing unrivaled coverage of U.S. space launches. Comprehensive reports and voluminous amounts of video are available in our archives.
Space Shuttle
Atlas | Delta | Pegasus
Minotaur | Taurus | Falcon
Titan



NewsAlert



Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest space news e-mailed direct to your desktop.

Enter your e-mail address:

Privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose.



Advertisement






Space Books






Long March rocket lifts military satellite into orbit
BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW

Posted: May 29, 2012


Bookmark and Share

China shot an intelligence-gathering Yaogan surveillance satellite into a 750-mile-high orbit Tuesday in a successful launch aboard a Long March 4C rocket.

Following standard procedures for military satellite launches, China did not announce the mission before liftoff. The state-run Xinhua news agency called the launch successful.

Liftoff of the three-stage launcher was at 0731 GMT (3:31 a.m. EDT) Tuesday, or 3:31 p.m. Beijing time. The Long March 4C rocket soared away from the Taiyuan launch base in northern China's Shanxi province, a remote site about 265 miles southwest of Beijing.

The rocket delivered the Yaogan 15 satellite into an orbit nearly 750 miles high with an inclination of 100 degrees, according to U.S. military tracking data.

"The satellite will be used to conduct scientific experiments, carry out land surveys, monitor crop yields and aid in reducing and preventing natural disasters," Xinhua reported.

But Yaogan satellites are believed by independent experts to be military spacecraft with observation and surveillance sensors.

Yaogan 15 may carry a radar payload designed for all-weather, day-and-night imaging of locations around the world. Other Yaogan satellites likely feature advanced high-resolution optical cameras.

STS-134 Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Final Shuttle Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Apollo Collage
This beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.
 U.S. STORE

STS-133 Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Anniversary Shuttle Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Mercury anniversary

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!


Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

INDEX | PLUS | NEWS ARCHIVE | LAUNCH SCHEDULE
ASTRONOMY NOW | STORE

ADVERTISE

© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.