Beijing: China today said it successfully launched two experimental satellites to test its domestically developed components, first in a series of civilian satellites designed for technological experimentation.
The satellites Practice-9 A and Practice-9 B, launched from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in China’s northern Shanxi Province, were boosted by a Long March-2C carrier rocket and sent into a predetermined orbit.
The satellites are first in a series of civilian satellites designed for technological experimentation, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Developed by an affiliate company of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the satellites will be used to experiment with domestically developed components, satellite formations and inter-satellite measurement, it said.
Expanding its satellite programme rapidly, China last month had launched a remote sensing satellite, the “VRSS-1,” for Venezuela, which is China’s first in-orbit delivery of a remote sensing satellite to an international customer.
Also last month China launched two more satellites into space expanding its indigenous global navigation and positioning network being built to rival United States, Global Positioning System (GPS).
The two were the 14th and 15th satellites for the Beidou, or Compass, system being built by China since 2000.
The indigenous GPS has its major military significance for China as it reduces dependence on the GPS for the guidance systems of its long range missiles.
Besides the military applications, the system has been used in transportation, weather forecasting, marine fisheries, forestry, telecommunications, hydrological monitoring and mapping.
China is currently carrying out an ambitious space programme which included missions to Moon, building of its space station as well as its own global positioning system.
Since last year China has started a programme to launch 100 rockets and 100 satellites by 2015 and has been making 20 launch missions a year to accomplish it.
Source : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/et-cetera/china-launches-2-satellites-to-test-home-made-technologies/articleshow/16808699.cms