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China Launches Test Satellite for LEO Broadband System

By | December 29, 2018
A Long March-11 rocket lifting off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. Photo: Xinhua

A Long March-11 rocket lifting off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. Photo: Xinhua

China launched a test satellite as part of its Hongyun Project, a low-orbit broadband communication satellite system, on Dec. 22. A Long March-11 rocket carrying the satellite lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 7:51 a.m. local time, before successfully entering its preset orbit.

As the first satellite of the Hongyun Project, the successful launch signifies China’s progress in mapping the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband communication satellite system, said the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), a state-owned spacecraft developer.

With this launch, China will extend the test and application demonstration of LEO space-based internet technologies. The Hongyun Project is designed to be a low-orbit globe-spanning broadband internet access network based on a satellite constellation of 156 satellites, and aims to bring broadband internet access to remote areas in China.