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Long March rocket puts experimental payload in orbit

Posted: November 25, 2013

China launched an experimental satellite Monday for technological demonstrations and environmental surveys, according to official state media reports.

The Long March 2D rocket with Shiyan 5 launched at 10:12 a.m. Beijing time Monday. Credit: Xinhua
The Shiyan 5 satellite launched on a Long March 2D rocket at 0212 GMT Monday (9:12 p.m. EST Sunday) from the Jiuquan launching facility near the border of northern China's Inner Mongolia and Gansu provinces, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The 13-story Long March 2D put the Shiyan 5 satellite in a near-circular orbit about 462 miles high with an inclination of 98 degrees, according to U.S. military tracking data.

The name Shiyan means "experiment" in Chinese.

The official launch statement from Xinhua did not describe the satellite, only saying it would "conduct technological experiments and environmental surveys" in a report issued Monday.

Monday's Long March mission was the 12th Chinese space launch of the year and the 68th launch to reach orbit worldwide in 2013.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.