China on Saturday successfully launched three new remote sensing satellites from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the country’s southwestern Sichuan province, official media reported.
The satellites, belonging to the Yaogan-35 family, were launched by a Long March-2D carrier rocket and entered the planned orbit successfully, according to the Xinhua news agency.
This launch marked the 396th mission for the Long March series carrier rockets.
In March 2019, China’s Long March-3B rocket — regarded as the main stay of the country’s space programme since 1970 — had successfully completed its 300th launch by putting a new communication satellite into orbit.
The Long March carrier rocket series, developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, is responsible for about 96.4 per cent of all the launch missions in China.
It took 37 years for the Long March rockets to complete the first 100 launches, 7.5 years to complete the second 100 launches, and only about four years to accomplish the final 100, with the average number of launches per year increasing from 2.7 to 13.3 and then to 23.5, Xinhua reported in 2019.