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Chinese military payload launched on Long March 2C

Posted: September 29, 2014

A Long March 2C rocket blasted off Sunday from the Jiuquan launching center with an experimental Chinese satellite, state media reported.

The Shijian 11-07 mission lifted off on a Long March 2C rocket at 1:13 p.m. Beijing time Sunday. Credit: Xinhua
Chinese media revealed little about the Shijian 11-07 mission, which launched at 0513 GMT (1:13 a.m. EDT) Sunday from the Jiuquan space base in northwest China's Gobi desert.

Liftoff of the Long March 2C booster occurred at 1:13 p.m. Beijing time.

Sunday's flight was the seventh launch of a Shijian 11 series satellite since 2009, and the second Shijian 11 payload to launch this year. The launch was not officially announced ahead of time, as is customary with most Chinese rocket launches.

The two-stage liquid-fueled Long March 2C launcher deployed the Shijian 11-07 payload into the correct orbit, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

China has not disclosed the purpose of the Shijian 11 satellite series other than classifying them as experimental missions. Xinhua reported the Shijian 11-07 satellite will "conduct scientific experiments in space."

Some analysts believe the Shijian 11 satellites might be part of an early warning constellation to demonstrate missile detection for the Chinese military.

Tracking data from the U.S. military indicated Shijian 11-07 was in an orbit about 430 miles high with an inclination of approximately 98 degrees.

According to Xinhua, the spacecraft was developed by China Spacesat Co. Ltd. under the supervision of the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

Sunday's mission was the sixth Chinese satellite launch of the year, and the 59th rocket flight to reach orbit worldwide in 2014.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.