China launches 14 commercial satellites into Earth’s orbit

China has 14 new satellites in orbit after its fifth launch in 2023, as the Long March 2D missile launched from the Taiwan Satellite Launch Center in northern China, with 14 satellites on board for a group of customers.

According to Space, six of the payloads were Jilin-1 optical and infrared remote sensing satellites of a commercial satellite company spun out of an institute affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Changguang Satellite Technology now has more than 70 satellites in orbit and aims to build a constellation of 300 satellites by 2025.

Also on board were the Qilu-2 and Qilu-3, which Chinese state media has described as high-resolution optical and wide-area satellites.

Three other satellites, the Golden Bauhinia Satellite, were developed by the Hong Kong Aerospace Science and Technology Group. The first two are optical remote sensing satellites, while the last is an optical test satellite for a constellation planned for agricultural use.

The last three satellites were Luojia-3 (01), a remote sensing satellite of Wuhan University manufactured by the state-owned DFH Satellite, and the BUPT-1 scientific test satellite of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications developed by commercial satellite manufacturer Spacety; and the Tianzhi-2D Technical Test Satellite of CAS Institute of Software, developed by Hunan Hangsheng Satellite Technology.

The Long March missile for the mission was developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), a giant state-owned aerospace and defense contractor.

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