Ready or not, a new superpower is watching.
China has launched the Gaofen 3 C-band satellite, intended for use as a platform for remote sensing and Earth observation, according to an initial report by the state news service Xinhua. The launch was on November 22 at 18:45 EST from the country’s southern launch site-2 (SLS-2) within the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC).
But with the leap in space warfare tactics between US-owned satellites and China, in addition to Russia blowing up its own satellite with a missile and causes an international crisis, observations can extend beyond the observation and prevention of natural disasters.
The new Chinese satellite is entering a solar synchronous orbit
The Gaofen-3 satellites are designed to last up to eight years and are available with synthetic aperture (SAR) radar, in addition to a data transmission system that adjusts its orientation in space using control torque gyroscopes (CMG), according to report from NASASpaceflight.com. The Chinese Academy of Space and Technology (CAST) designed the Gaofen 3 series, and CAST is part of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). These entities serve as the main site for the production and development of spacecraft in China and were involved in the process of the country’s first successful satellite launch (Dong Fang Hong I).
The new satellite was launched into orbit by Chang Zheng 4C (also called Long March 4C, internationally). It is approximately 150 feet (45.8 m) high, has a diameter of approximately 11 feet (3.35 m) and rises with a mass of approximately 275 tons (250,000 kg) – the lion’s share of which is the first stage of the rocket. Long March 4C is mainly used to launch satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), in addition to solar synchronous orbit (SSO) missions. This last satellite was one of the last. The missile can lift nearly 5 tons (4200 kg) in LEO and approximately 3 tons (2800 kg) in SSO. The payload on Wednesday was approximately 3 tons (2779 kg).
China launches nearly 50 satellites in 2021
The newest startup will join a larger constellation of satellites as part of the Chinese High-Resolution Earth Observation System (CHEOS), originally proposed in 2006 and starting in 2010. The goal of CHEOS is to improve and upgrade the country’s capacity to observe the Earth from space. China has even set up a new agency to monitor and manage a program called the Earth Observation System and Data Center – China National Space Administration (EOSDC-CNSA), which is involved in a larger regional development campaign, “One Belt, One path “for mapping. world geography and environment, ostensibly to prevent disasters and observation. Assuming that this monitoring is limited to research, prevention and coordination of the response to natural disasters and environmental damage, this actually sounds like a good idea.
Although the United States is no exception to this rule, it is not the job of superpowers to monitor and coordinate international efforts in the face of natural disasters. But in most cases, this can be great for raising water levels, damaging ecosystems (which are multiplying at an incredible rate) and, say, major floods. But given the growth of space nations implementation of space warfare tactics, it is not difficult to imagine that the growing constellation of satellites in China observes more than nature. Whether this is the case or not, this was the 45th mission launched by China this year, and two more are planned for this week: the launch of Ceres-1 on Wednesday, followed by Chang Zheng 3B / E on November 26.