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China Launches Earth Remote Sensing, Navigational, and Optical Satellites in Less Than a Week

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EIRNS—China is on track to have a record-setting year for launching spacecraft, having lofted three sets of payloads to orbit on three launchers, in five days. Today, the LKW-3 remote sensing satellite was launched. Little information has been provided about the satellite, reports Andrew Jones for GBTimes website. Every satellite that looks down at Earth is dual use, so it is most likely also with this one, to be used by the military for reconnaissance purposes, in addition to the stated objective of "land survey." The first two satellites in this series were launched in December.

Two more Beidou satellites were launched yesterday, toward the goal of global coverage with the navigational satellite constellation, by 2020. And on Jan. 9, a pair of SuperView optical Earth observation satellites was launched.

The current plan is carry out about 40 launches this year, which is nearly double the previous 22-launch record, in 2016. A booster failure last year halted launches for nearly three months, reducing the number for 2017.

See also: China and France Inaugurate Joint Fusion Research Centre