ExPace’s Kuaizhou-1A launches 5G satellite

Image courtesy of GalaxySpace.

Today, Chinese rocket manufacturer launched its solid-fuel vehicle Kuaizhou-1A, carrying with it Yinhe-1 a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) communication satellite for China’s GalaxySpace. The launch took place at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre.

This was the first independent launch of the Kuaizhou-1A by ExPace and the 8th overall Kuaizhou-1A launch; although ExPace manufactures the Kuaizhou rocket family, it usually acts a subcontractor for state-owned launch contractor CASIC. The Kuaizhou-1A, following on from the Kuaizhou-1, can take about 300kg to LEO, and has generally been used for commercial launches.

GalaxySpace, founded in 2016, is headquartered in Beijing and aspires to operate a LEO constellation providing 5G and broadband communication globally. Yinhe-1, which has a liftoff mass of about 220kg, is the company’s first satellite and has a bandwidth of 10GBps. GalaxySpace aims to launch 1,000 satellites at an altitude of between 500 km and 1,000 km.

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Yesterday, 15 Jan, also saw a Chinese launch. The launch took place at Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, where the Long March 2D lofted remote sensing satellite Jilin-1 into LEO, as part of the Chinese government’s space programme. Jilin-1 will join other satellites in the Jilin remote sensing constellation, and is an optical satellite with submeter resolution. The launch also carried three nanosatellites, including two from Argentinian startup Satellogic.


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