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International Space Flight (ESA, Russia, China and others) => Chinese Launchers => Topic started by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/10/2013 07:56 AM

Title: Kunpeng-7, XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/10/2013 07:56 AM
A very strange NOTAM that indicates something being launched out of XSLC on the night of May 12 (missile test?):

A0507/13 - A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY:
N272440E1062527-N270348E1061854 -N271521E1053214-N273614E1053838
BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL.ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO
FLY INTO THE AREA. SFC - UNL, 12 MAY 12:57 2013 UNTIL 12 MAY 13:46 2013. CREATED:
10 MAY 06:48 2013


There's another evidence that may or may not be related to this thing - report coming soon.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/10/2013 12:20 PM
A very strange NOTAM that indicates something being launched out of XSLC on the night of May 12 (missile test?):

A0507/13 - A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY:
N272440E1062527-N270348E1061854 -N271521E1053214-N273614E1053838
BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL.ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO
FLY INTO THE AREA. SFC - UNL, 12 MAY 12:57 2013 UNTIL 12 MAY 13:46 2013. CREATED:
10 MAY 06:48 2013


There's another evidence that may or may not be related to this thing - report coming soon.

OK I have seen two tweets on May 8 from two people in different places - one in Dao County in Hunan and another near Zhaotong in Yunnan - that reports that there will be a rocket launch in the next few days and that rocket debris will fall over their heads, so the local people are warned beforehand. The one from Yunnan went further and said that this is the first time that their place is being targeted as a drop zone (claimed to be the first stage). Both places lines up with the straight line that stretches from XSLC to the air closure zone indicated above.

The strange thing is that the drop zone is a mere 400 km from the launch site, has never been flown before in such a direction, and is happening at night time (~9 pm local). Missile test? Or something else.....  ???

Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/10/2013 01:02 PM
A very strange NOTAM that indicates something being launched out of XSLC on the night of May 12 (missile test?):

A0507/13 - A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY:
N272440E1062527-N270348E1061854 -N271521E1053214-N273614E1053838
BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL.ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO
FLY INTO THE AREA. SFC - UNL, 12 MAY 12:57 2013 UNTIL 12 MAY 13:46 2013. CREATED:
10 MAY 06:48 2013


There's another evidence that may or may not be related to this thing - report coming soon.

OK I have seen two tweets on May 8 from two people in different places - one in Dao County in Hunan and another near Zhaotong in Yunnan - that reports that there will be a rocket launch in the next few days and that rocket debris will fall over their heads, so the local people are warned beforehand. The one from Yunnan went further and said that this is the first time that their place is being targeted as a drop zone (claimed to be the first stage). Both places lines up with the straight line that stretches from XSLC to the air closure zone indicated above.

The strange thing is that the drop zone is a mere 400 km from the launch site, has never been flown before in such a direction, and is happening at night time (~9 pm local). Missile test? Or something else.....  ???

A wild guess:
- Area around Zhaotong, Yunnan: 1st stage drop zone
- NOTAMed area: fairing drop zone
- Area in Dao county, Hunan: 2nd stage drop zone
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/11/2013 03:32 PM
As of May 11, 1525UTC, NOTAM A0507/13 has been removed from the  active  NOTAM list well before the indicated window has lapsed (May 12,   1346UTC)
So apparently this planned launch has been delayed or cancelled...
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/12/2013 12:34 PM
It's back, now on May 13
Quote
A0523/13 -  A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY:  N272440E1062527-N270348E1061854 -N271521E1053214-N273614E1053838  BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL.ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO  FLY INTO THE AREA. SFC - UNL, 13 MAY 12:47 2013 UNTIL 13 MAY 13:36 2013. CREATED: 12 MAY 11:34 2013
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/13/2013 12:31 PM
It's back, now on May 13
Quote
A0523/13 -  A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY:  N272440E1062527-N270348E1061854 -N271521E1053214-N273614E1053838  BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL.ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO  FLY INTO THE AREA. SFC - UNL, 13 MAY 12:47 2013 UNTIL 13 MAY 13:36 2013. CREATED: 12 MAY 11:34 2013

People being chased off their houses right now.....

It would be absolutely weird if a missile launch would require evacuating towns and villages in several different spots, but I have no explanation on what on earth is that thing being launched right now (doubt it's aimed towards orbit though).

Expect UFO reports soon.....  ::)
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/13/2013 01:05 PM
It's back, now on May 13
Quote
A0523/13 -  A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY:  N272440E1062527-N270348E1061854 -N271521E1053214-N273614E1053838  BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL.ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO  FLY INTO THE AREA. SFC - UNL, 13 MAY 12:47 2013 UNTIL 13 MAY 13:36 2013. CREATED: 12 MAY 11:34 2013

People being chased off their houses right now.....

It would be absolutely weird if a missile launch would require evacuating towns and villages in several different spots, but I have no explanation on what on earth is that thing being launched right now (doubt it's aimed towards orbit though).

Expect UFO reports soon.....  ::)

Launched around 13:00 UTC - lots of observation reports ranging from Chengdu to Kunming, as well as UFOs from Chongqing all the way to Wuhan and Hainan island!  ::)  :o

Edit: Even more reports from places further downstream - including one in Fujian and at least 3 in Guangdong. Damn! I should have get out and look around if I can see the "purple comet tail" from Hong Kong....
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Satori on 05/13/2013 01:32 PM

Launched around 13:00 UTC - lots of observation reports ranging from Chengdu to Kunming, as well as UFOs from Chongqing all the way to Wuhan and Hainan island!  ::)  :o

Edit: Even more reports from places further downstream - including one in Fujian and at least 3 in Guangdong. Damn! I should have get out and look around if I can see the "purple comet tail" from Hong Kong....

This is getting really interesting!!!
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Satori on 05/13/2013 01:55 PM
Any other informations about this launch?
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/13/2013 02:00 PM
Launched around 13:00 UTC - lots of observation reports ranging from Chengdu to Kunming, as well as UFOs from Chongqing all the way to Wuhan and Hainan island!  ::) :o

Edit: Even more reports from places further downstream - including one in Fujian and at least 3 in Guangdong. Damn! I should have get out and look around if I can see the "purple comet tail" from Hong Kong....
I've seen reports from microbloggers located in Xichang, Xishuangbanna (Yunnan) and Shiyan (Hubei)
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/13/2013 02:29 PM
The huge area that people seeing the rocket plume means that this thing must be rising very quickly into space - so probably a solid motor powered thingy. And it launches from Xichang. And the path it took is roughly GTO-ish.

IMHO the only reasonable explanation is that this is an ASAT test - possibly towards a real or simulated GTO target. Let's see if there are new debris spreading around over the next few days (or even a flash saw by others east of China).....  ::)
Title: Re: Expected Chinese launch on Sept. 25, 2010 and other missile launches
Post by: input~2 on 05/13/2013 02:33 PM
Dongneng-2?
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/13/2013 03:55 PM
Damn, someone DID caught it in Hong Kong! (click the picture for animation) :o

It looks all but certain that whatever was launched 3 hours ago is something top secret, as described by someone at Xichang: http://lt.cjdby.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1614118 (http://lt.cjdby.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1614118)
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/13/2013 06:28 PM
Some sources in Sichuan report a launch time of 1258UTC
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/13/2013 07:08 PM
So from the map above one might expect reports from Taiwan too - and even negative ones would have significance


Also, worth noting no TLEs for any new launch as of 1900 UTC, but this is not dispositive as it often  takes them longer to process a 'new foreign launch' of this kind.  Also, no new debris listings, but that would probably only show up days later.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 05/13/2013 10:32 PM
I have to pose the question: if this launch is "Dongneng-2" then what was Dongneng-1?   And what does this name translate as please?
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 05/13/2013 11:29 PM
I have to pose the question: if this launch is "Dongneng-2" then what was Dongneng-1?   And what does this name translate as please?

Wikipedia says the name is 动能2 and Google Translate says 动能 means "kinetic energy."  One might speculate that -1 was the 2007 version.

FWIW and YMMV.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Lar on 05/14/2013 12:56 AM
I'd really like to not see any more ASAT tests, it's already been established that messes can be made, and each one makes things worse. If this is what the Chinese are doing... why?
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: luhai167 on 05/14/2013 06:31 AM
Here is the official story, just another sounding rocket. However, if this is a sounding rocket, it is the most high profile sounding rocket I have ever seen.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cas.ac.cn%2Fky%2Fkyjz%2F201305%2Ft20130514_3839206.shtml&act=url
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/14/2013 06:44 AM
Here is the official story, just another sounding rocket. However, if this is a sounding rocket, it is the most high profile sounding rocket I have ever seen.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cas.ac.cn%2Fky%2Fkyjz%2F201305%2Ft20130514_3839206.shtml&act=url

That would be one huge sounding rocket with extremely long range capabilities - they should have sold them back to the Americans and Europeans, for they would have good use of it at such a cheap price.....  ;)

This is the worst cover-up story I have ever seen - which only add fuel to the speculation on what happened yesterday. I'm waiting for responses inside the Beltway....  ;D
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: luhai167 on 05/14/2013 06:58 AM
May be in a few days, a huge sounding rocket will be lunched in to the South Pacific releasing multiple scientific probes gathering valuable information about our upper atmosphere.

Come to think of it, both DF-31A and DF-41 have never done a full range test (unlike DF-5 (http://www.sinodefence.com/strategic/missile/df5.asp)) and ICBM MIRV capability has never been explicitly demonstrated. This is probably the most gaping gap been China's capabilities and demonstrations.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: snowhole on 05/14/2013 07:02 AM
A very strange NOTAM that indicates something being launched out of XSLC on the night of May 12 (missile test?):

A0507/13 - A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY:
N272440E1062527-N270348E1061854 -N271521E1053214-N273614E1053838
BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL.ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO
FLY INTO THE AREA. SFC - UNL, 12 MAY 12:57 2013 UNTIL 12 MAY 13:46 2013. CREATED:
10 MAY 06:48 2013


There's another evidence that may or may not be related to this thing - report coming soon.

OK I have seen two tweets on May 8 from two people in different places - one in Dao County in Hunan and another near Zhaotong in Yunnan - that reports that there will be a rocket launch in the next few days and that rocket debris will fall over their heads, so the local people are warned beforehand. The one from Yunnan went further and said that this is the first time that their place is being targeted as a drop zone (claimed to be the first stage). Both places lines up with the straight line that stretches from XSLC to the air closure zone indicated above.

The strange thing is that the drop zone is a mere 400 km from the launch site, has never been flown before in such a direction, and is happening at night time (~9 pm local). Missile test? Or something else.....  ???



Could you please share with us where these reports come from? I searched the Weibo and got conflicting (and confusing) reports from Dao County, and no results for Zhaotong, Yunnan.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: marshal on 05/14/2013 07:05 AM
So it don't into orbit ?

any TLE ?
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/14/2013 07:06 AM
I'd really like to not see any more ASAT tests, it's already been established that messes can be made, and each one makes things worse. If this is what the Chinese are doing... why?

Well.... they don't actually need to really aim at a real satellite even for ASAT testing (i.e. using a simulated target), so let's see if there's a new debris cloud forming in GTO/GEO over the next few days....

So it don't into orbit ?

any TLE ?

None as of right now.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: snowhole on 05/14/2013 07:36 AM
I'd really like to not see any more ASAT tests, it's already been established that messes can be made, and each one makes things worse. If this is what the Chinese are doing... why?

Well.... they don't actually need to really aim at a real satellite even for ASAT testing (i.e. using a simulated target), so let's see if there's a new debris cloud forming in GTO/GEO over the next few days....
It would be extremely unlikely that they destroy some real object on the GEO and leave a debris cloud there. That would guarantee strong condemnations as the GEO is limited resource.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: NH2501 on 05/14/2013 09:02 AM
Also they got sounding rocket test on 5th of April, but from Hainan and not so spectacular... Also branch of Chinese Science Academy was involved.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Liss on 05/14/2013 10:19 AM
Also they got sounding rocket test on 5th of April, but from Hainan and not so spectacular... Also branch of Chinese Science Academy was involved.

Umm, a NOTAM existed for that day for a position just inside the Yalongwan Bay and within the borders of Yulin Naval Base near Sanya :-)

Quote
A0297/13 - A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED: A CIRCLE CENTERED AT N181258E1093941 WITH RADIUS OF 10KM, VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL. GENERAL AVIATION ACFT (INCLUDE TRAINING FLY, PHYSICAL FLY, ENTERTAINMENT FLY AND ADVERTISEMENT FLY) ARE PROHIBITED TO FLY INTO THIS AREA. SFC - UNL, 05 APR 00:01 2013 UNTIL 08 APR 16:00 2013. CREATED: 02 APR 05:57 2013
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/14/2013 12:03 PM
Here is the official story, just another sounding rocket. However, if this is a sounding rocket, it is the most high profile sounding rocket I have ever seen.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cas.ac.cn%2Fky%2Fkyjz%2F201305%2Ft20130514_3839206.shtml&act=url

That would be one huge sounding rocket with extremely long range capabilities - they should have sold them back to the Americans and Europeans, for they would have good use of it at such a cheap price.....  ;)

This is the worst cover-up story I have ever seen - which only add fuel to the speculation on what happened yesterday. I'm waiting for responses inside the Beltway....  ;D

The interesting thing is that the science payload is reported to have included a barium release. Were there any observations of a red cloud reported?

If you take the report at face value it could be something like one of the Soviet Vertikal' probes, or a  US Blue Scout Junior, with thousands of km
apogee rather than the usual few hundred km of typical sounding rockets.
That would be consistent with the reported magnetosphere mission.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/14/2013 12:13 PM
Here is the official story, just another sounding rocket. However, if this is a sounding rocket, it is the most high profile sounding rocket I have ever seen.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cas.ac.cn%2Fky%2Fkyjz%2F201305%2Ft20130514_3839206.shtml&act=url

That would be one huge sounding rocket with extremely long range capabilities - they should have sold them back to the Americans and Europeans, for they would have good use of it at such a cheap price.....  ;)

This is the worst cover-up story I have ever seen - which only add fuel to the speculation on what happened yesterday. I'm waiting for responses inside the Beltway....  ;D

The interesting thing is that the science payload is reported to have included a barium release. Were there any observations of a red cloud reported?

If you take the report at face value it could be something like one of the Soviet Vertikal' probes, or a  US Blue Scout Junior, with thousands of km
apogee rather than the usual few hundred km of typical sounding rockets.


I have seen hundreds of reports (and photos, although most of them are of rather poor) spread over more than a thousand miles apart yesterday, and "strangely" none of them reports a red cloud - all of them saw a comet like streak crossing the sky steadily for 1-2 minutes.

Plus the last time they did such an experiment in early April the authorities issued warnings beforehand with indication that a sounding rocket launch was planned. Not this time.

The rest of the story is left to the reader as an exercise.  ::)
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/14/2013 12:24 PM
Here is the official story, just another sounding rocket. However, if this is a sounding rocket, it is the most high profile sounding rocket I have ever seen.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cas.ac.cn%2Fky%2Fkyjz%2F201305%2Ft20130514_3839206.shtml&act=url

That would be one huge sounding rocket with extremely long range capabilities - they should have sold them back to the Americans and Europeans, for they would have good use of it at such a cheap price.....  ;)

This is the worst cover-up story I have ever seen - which only add fuel to the speculation on what happened yesterday. I'm waiting for responses inside the Beltway....  ;D

The interesting thing is that the science payload is reported to have included a barium release. Were there any observations of a red cloud reported?

If you take the report at face value it could be something like one of the Soviet Vertikal' probes, or a  US Blue Scout Junior, with thousands of km
apogee rather than the usual few hundred km of typical sounding rockets.


I have seen hundreds of reports (and photos, although most of them are of rather poor) spread over more than a thousand miles apart yesterday, and "strangely" none of them reports a red cloud - all of them saw a comet like streak crossing the sky steadily for 1-2 minutes.

Plus the last time they did such an experiment in early April the authorities issued warnings beforehand with indication that a sounding rocket launch was planned. Not this time.

The rest of the story is left to the reader as an exercise.  ::)

The release, if it occurred, might have been 20 minutes to an hour later depending on the apogee.

Not impossible for both ideas to be true: trajectory test of a new launch vehicle variant with a science payload, but vehicle mainly intended to carry an ASAT in future.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 05/14/2013 12:32 PM
Not impossible for both ideas to be true: trajectory test of a new launch vehicle variant with a science payload, but vehicle mainly intended to carry an ASAT in future.

Any ideas as to what rocket might be involved? There are some clues, such as the drop zone and final(?) stage burn-out seen well above the horizon at Hong Kong.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/14/2013 01:05 PM
Not impossible for both ideas to be true: trajectory test of a new launch vehicle variant with a science payload, but vehicle mainly intended to carry an ASAT in future.

Any ideas as to what rocket might be involved? There are some clues, such as the drop zone and final(?) stage burn-out seen well above the horizon at Hong Kong.

If it's a BlueScoutJr type of launch, the ascent trajectory would be almost vertical and the drop zone would be much closer to the launch site than for the same rocket used in a satellite or ICBM launch mode. To be above the horizon at HK would require final stage burnout to be at 200 km or more - easily achievable for a variety of large launch vehicles
if they go almost straight up.

But it makes sense to look at vehicles already launched from Xichang, we know only of the CZ-2, CZ-3, and DF-21. So I would guess a DF-21, DF-31 or derivative (which is also what the folks who think it's an ASAT would expect) is most likely, with a suborbital flight of CZ-2C as unlikely (they would probably give the rocket name in that case). But a suborbital component test of a new CZ vehicle - maybe the CZ-6? - might also be plausible,  I need to give that some thought.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: marshal on 05/14/2013 02:31 PM
Seems like no TLE in NORAD

 ???
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/14/2013 03:22 PM

The release, if it occurred, might have been 20 minutes to an hour later depending on the apogee.

Not impossible for both ideas to be true: trajectory test of a new launch vehicle variant with a science payload, but vehicle mainly intended to carry an ASAT in future.

Looks like you are indeed right! Those instruments did measure the magnetosphere and released solid barium at a height of over 10000 km :o (so at least there's a science payload hitchhiking)

http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2013/05-14/4817925.shtml (http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2013/05-14/4817925.shtml)

However, the same news article exposed the real intent of the rocket  ::):

1. The altitude reached by the rocket is >10000 km; definitely beyond the range of all mainstream sounding rockets
2. The rocket (claimed as "Kunpeng 7", although I am 100% sure that the name refers to the payload package and not the rocket) is built by CASIC (KT-1 derivative?)
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 05/14/2013 03:33 PM

http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2013/05-14/4817925.shtml (http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2013/05-14/4817925.shtml)


Google Translate of that, in case the original should evaporate:

Quote
China once again high-altitude scientific exploration test: height higher data more
On May 14, 2013 20:57 Source: China News (5)

BEIJING, May 14 (Reporter Sun Zifa) reporter learned from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Space Science Center on the 14th, following the April 5, 2013, China successfully conducted for the first time sounding of the space environment and space science initiative test, May 13 and the success of a higher degree of high-altitude scientific exploration test.

The pilot commander, GONG Jian village Fellow, National Space Science Center, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the active test probe test compared to the space in Danzhou, Hainan on April 5 this year, at the altitude has been greatly increased by hundreds of kilometers to more than 10,000 kilometers; equipped with a more scientific instruments, data obtained relates to a wider range of space, the amount of data is more. Preliminary analysis indicates that the test has been obtained first-hand scientific data, the vertical distribution of different heights on the space environment parameters and space science research has a very important value.

The trial, sounding rocket through the Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere, and finally into the magnetosphere. Sounding rocket carrying scientific instruments, space radiation in low latitudes with high-energy particles, ionospheric plasma and magnetic field distribution in situ detection. Sounding rocket released at the height of 10,000 km near the metal barium meal, barium cloud is formed in the space and ground-based optical telescope follow-up observations of the barium cloud evolution, measured to study the dynamic characteristics of this region of the magnetosphere data.

It is reported that the space scientific experiments at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, energetic particle detectors, Langmuir probe, magnetometer, the barium metal powder release device and other scientific instruments designed and developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Space Science Center, launch vehicles the Kunpeng VII "developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Group. (End)
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/14/2013 03:52 PM

The release, if it occurred, might have been 20 minutes to an hour later depending on the apogee.

Not impossible for both ideas to be true: trajectory test of a new launch vehicle variant with a science payload, but vehicle mainly intended to carry an ASAT in future.

Looks like you are indeed right! Those instruments did measure the magnetosphere and released solid barium at a height of over 10000 km :o (so at least there's a science payload hitchhiking)

http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2013/05-14/4817925.shtml (http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2013/05-14/4817925.shtml)

However, the same news article exposed the real intent of the rocket  ::):

1. The altitude reached by the rocket is >10000 km; definitely beyond the range of all mainstream sounding rockets
2. The rocket (claimed as "Kunpeng 7", although I am 100% sure that the name refers to the payload package and not the rocket) is built by CASIC (KT-1 derivative?)


Well, that is consistent with my Blue Scout Jr analogy - use of a miltary rocket for high altitude sounding. It *could* be an independent program using the DF-21 or DF-31, rather than being tightly related to the use of that rocket family for ASAT missions from Xichang.  Or your inference of a direct connection could  well be correct - I just don't think we can make a confident conclusion on the available data.

Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/14/2013 04:18 PM
It might be interesting to determine what was flying by in orbit around that time.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 05/14/2013 05:02 PM
It might be interesting to determine what was flying by in orbit around that time.
 - Ed Kyle

Indeed it would. Perhaps Ted M or one of his co-hobbyists can run the TLEs. Reconstructing the ascent trajectory of the whatsit as accurately as possible from the available information will be important.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/14/2013 06:11 PM
Following up a suggestion in a private message, here is the list of sounding rockets that reached more than 10000 km:


1976 Jun 18 1141     Scout D-1      S193C                    GP-A                WI       LA3A           10230     
1963 Jul 30 1616:08  Blue Scout Jr  22-1/AD-622              AFCRL-1/21 (AD-622) CC       LC18A          11100     
1965 Mar 30 1609:31  Blue Scout Jr  22-4 (OAR Probe 4)       AFCRL-35            CC       LC18A          12067     
1965 May 12 1602:35  Blue Scout Jr  22-8 (OAR Probe 6)       AFCRL-335           CC       LC18A          13586     
1965 Jun  9 1626:15  Blue Scout Jr  22-5 (OAR Probe 7)       AFWL-304            CC       LC18A          17533     
1965 Apr  9 1810:37  Blue Scout Jr  22-9 (OAR Probe 5)       AWFL-14             CC       LC18A          25422     
1960 Sep 21 1301:53  Blue Scout Jr  D-1                      HETS                CC       LC18A          26700     
1971 Sep 20 2331:00  Scout B        S166C                    Barium Ion Cloud    WI       LA3A           31479     
1961 Dec  4 0400:16  Blue Scout Jr  O-2                      HETS                PA       LC-A           44400     
1961 Aug 17 1429     Blue Scout Jr  O-1                      HETS                CC       LC18A         225000     


The apogee for O-1 is highly uncertain as it was not tracked and telemetry was lost, so take it with a very large pinch of salt. The others should be reasonably accurate.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/14/2013 07:00 PM
Xin Hua reproducing microbloggers photos of the rocket ???
http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2013-05/14/c_115765199.htm
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/14/2013 07:57 PM
An interesting summary of data collected on this launch from blogger kktt:
http://liuqiankktt.blog.163.com/blog/static/121264211201341422610261/
(in Chinese)
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 05/14/2013 10:21 PM
An interesting summary of data collected on this launch from blogger kktt:
http://liuqiankktt.blog.163.com/blog/static/121264211201341422610261/
(in Chinese)

Highlights, please?  Once upon a time I resolved to learn to read Chinese, but so far I haven't. :)
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/14/2013 10:23 PM
An interesting summary of data collected on this launch from blogger kktt:
http://liuqiankktt.blog.163.com/blog/static/121264211201341422610261/
(in Chinese)

Highlights, please?  Once upon a time I resolved to learn to read Chinese, but so far I haven't. :)

I don't see any other data there that isn't discussed above. A lot of speculation.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/15/2013 12:10 AM
Damn, someone DID caught it in Hong Kong! (click the picture for animation) :o

It looks all but certain that whatever was launched 3 hours ago is something top secret, as described by someone at Xichang: http://lt.cjdby.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1614118 (http://lt.cjdby.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1614118)
In my opinion, these images show a staging following immediately by the ignition of another stage.  That stage burns for a short time and then appears to burn out.  If this was viewed from Hong Kong, am I correct to surmise that the staging visible here would have to have been between, say, a second and a third stage? 

Would a pure "sounding rocket" have stages separating and starting like this?

These all look like solid motor burns to my eyes. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: marshal on 05/15/2013 01:57 AM
Ok, TLE

2013-022C               
1 39165U 13022C   13134.81968748 -.00000151  00000-0  00000+0 0    27
2 39165  49.5103 122.1512 5714712 354.1873   1.2137  4.42638024    07
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/15/2013 02:08 AM
Ok, TLE

2013-022C               
1 39165U 13022C   13134.81968748 -.00000151  00000-0  00000+0 0    27
2 39165  49.5103 122.1512 5714712 354.1873   1.2137  4.42638024    07

No, this is the Briz-M drop tank from today's Eutelsat 3D comms satellite launch from Baykonur.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/15/2013 02:13 AM
Damn, someone DID caught it in Hong Kong! (click the picture for animation) :o

It looks all but certain that whatever was launched 3 hours ago is something top secret, as described by someone at Xichang: http://lt.cjdby.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1614118 (http://lt.cjdby.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1614118)
In my opinion, these images show a staging following immediately by the ignition of another stage.  That stage burns for a short time and then appears to burn out.  If this was viewed from Hong Kong, am I correct to surmise that the staging visible here would have to have been between, say, a second and a third stage? 

Would a pure "sounding rocket" have stages separating and starting like this?

These all look like solid motor burns to my eyes. 

 - Ed Kyle

Yes - depends on your definition of 'sounding rocket'. The launch vehicle here was clearly not a standard sounding rocket; but the term 'sounding rocket' is sometimes applied to any suborbital scientific launch - although 'vertical probe' would be the more traditional and accurate term for this particular launch. Vertical probes go to high altitudes and use large rockets, sometimes military missiles, to boost them. I agree that a multi-stage solid-motor missile, perhaps the DF-21, is in play here.
To consider a DF-21 launching a scientific vertical probe to be a 'sounding rocket' is within the historical scope of the term, but may not be the best choice of words.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/15/2013 05:14 AM
An interesting summary of data collected on this launch from blogger kktt:
http://liuqiankktt.blog.163.com/blog/static/121264211201341422610261/ (http://liuqiankktt.blog.163.com/blog/static/121264211201341422610261/)
(in Chinese)

Highlights, please?  Once upon a time I resolved to learn to read Chinese, but so far I haven't. :)
Interestingly, he comes up with the same conclusion as I guessed  (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31898.msg1049880#msg1049880)concerning the announced drop zones:
at least 2 stages:
first stage drop zone in Yunnan (from local warning)
fairing drop zone in Guizhou (from NOTAM)
second stage drop zone in Hunan (from local warning)
(flight track and drop zones diagram from kktt below)
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: catdlr on 05/15/2013 06:26 AM
Another News Article:

China missile hit highest suborbital level since 1976: scientist

http://news.yahoo.com/china-missile-hit-highest-suborbital-level-since-1976-053335882.html
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: beidou on 05/15/2013 10:57 AM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/15/us-china-launch-idUSBRE94E07D20130515

From the above news source: this launch was identified by a Harvard professor as a scientific exploration.
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: beidou on 05/15/2013 10:59 AM
A very strange NOTAM that indicates something being launched out of XSLC on the night of May 12 (missile test?):

A0507/13 - A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY:
N272440E1062527-N270348E1061854 -N271521E1053214-N273614E1053838
BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL.ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO
FLY INTO THE AREA. SFC - UNL, 12 MAY 12:57 2013 UNTIL 12 MAY 13:46 2013. CREATED:
10 MAY 06:48 2013


There's another evidence that may or may not be related to this thing - report coming soon.

GPS: please adjust the thread title to "Sounding rocket, ..."
Title: Re: Unknown (DN-2?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/15/2013 12:09 PM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/15/us-china-launch-idUSBRE94E07D20130515

From the above news source: this launch was identified by a Harvard professor as a scientific exploration.

That would be me. For the record, not technically a "Harvard professor" - I am a Smithsonian research scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian, here on the Harvard campus. Although I do sometimes teach Harvard students.

I was just giving my attempt at a balanced assessment of the discussion here and elsewhere as a counterpoint to the Washington Free Beacon's politically slanted version.  You shouldn't treat Reuters as a better source than nasaspaceflight.com :-)   (because we can go into more depth on the evidence here - I will say that Andrea Shalal-Esa from Reuters is one of the more careful reporters I've dealt with, along with the Associated Press folks like Seth Borenstein - but they have to summarize complex issues in a few sentences)
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/15/2013 01:26 PM
For the record here is a link for the Washington Free Beacon article
http://freebeacon.com/china-conducts-test-of-new-anti-satellite-missile/
The author leans in favor of a DongNeng-2 (动能-2) test.
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/15/2013 02:16 PM
For the record here is a link for the Washington Free Beacon article
http://freebeacon.com/china-conducts-test-of-new-anti-satellite-missile/
The author leans in favor of a DongNeng-2 (动能-2) test.


What's not clear to me:
 - What is a Dong Neng 2?  (what is the difference between a DN-2 and a DF-31 for instance?)
- Is Dong Neng 2 actually a Chinese designation, has it appeared in Chinese public sources? I've only seen it mentioned in US sources (also DN-1 for that matter). Or is it one of those fake designations that the US intelligence community sometimes slaps on things (like Taepodong)
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 05/15/2013 03:30 PM
For the record here is a link for the Washington Free Beacon article
http://freebeacon.com/china-conducts-test-of-new-anti-satellite-missile/
The author leans in favor of a DongNeng-2 (动能-2) test.


What's not clear to me:
 - What is a Dong Neng 2?  (what is the difference between a DN-2 and a DF-31 for instance?)
- Is Dong Neng 2 actually a Chinese designation, has it appeared in Chinese public sources? I've only seen it mentioned in US sources (also DN-1 for that matter). Or is it one of those fake designations that the US intelligence community sometimes slaps on things (like Taepodong)

The DN designator apparently refers to "kinetic energy" (动能) and is not typical of US/WSSIC "facility designators" -- so I think it actually may be a Chinese designator.  Whether it's official or just descriptive I couldn't say.

FWIW,

Quote
http://lt.cjdby.net/thread-1348649-1-1.html

Original:

我国的中段导弹拦截系统主要负责大气层外,对导弹飞行的中段进行拦截,这个系统大致包括陆基地井发射的动能-1号(DN-1)先进拦截弹,性能大致类似与美国的GMD大气层外拦截弹。除动能-1...

Google Translate:

Midcourse missile interception system in China is mainly responsible for the atmosphere, in the middle of the missile to intercept, the system generally includes the kinetic energy of the land base for silo launchers -1 (DN-1) advanced interceptor missile, performance is substantially similar to GMD outside the atmosphere with the United States interceptor missile.  In addition to the kinetic energy -1...
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/15/2013 04:24 PM
For the record here is a link for the Washington Free Beacon article
http://freebeacon.com/china-conducts-test-of-new-anti-satellite-missile/
The author leans in favor of a DongNeng-2 (动能-2) test.


What's not clear to me:
 - What is a Dong Neng 2?  (what is the difference between a DN-2 and a DF-31 for instance?)
- Is Dong Neng 2 actually a Chinese designation, has it appeared in Chinese public sources? I've only seen it mentioned in US sources (also DN-1 for that matter). Or is it one of those fake designations that the US intelligence community sometimes slaps on things (like Taepodong)

The DN designator apparently refers to "kinetic energy" (动能) and is not typical of US/WSSIC "facility designators" -- so I think it actually may be a Chinese designator.  Whether it's official or just descriptive I couldn't say.

FWIW,

Quote
http://lt.cjdby.net/thread-1348649-1-1.html

Original:

我国的中段导弹拦截系统主要负责大气层外,对导弹飞行的中段进行拦截,这个系统大致包括陆基地井发射的动能-1号(DN-1)先进拦截弹,性能大致类似与美国的GMD大气层外拦截弹。除动能-1...

Google Translate:

Midcourse missile interception system in China is mainly responsible for the atmosphere, in the middle of the missile to intercept, the system generally includes the kinetic energy of the land base for silo launchers -1 (DN-1) advanced interceptor missile, performance is substantially similar to GMD outside the atmosphere with the United States interceptor missile.  In addition to the kinetic energy -1...


Thanks for that
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/16/2013 02:28 AM
Apparently there is a Pentagon statement that they tracked the launch to "nearly geostationary altitude" and that the associated objects were on a path that would dump them in the Indian Ocean. (got this from a reporter, haven't seen the original statement - does anyone have a link?)

So if their tracking is correct, we are looking at a circa 30000 km apogee and an 8 to 9 hour flight.

This also requires burnout to be at an angle to the horizontal closer to 50-60 deg than 80-90 deg, or the flight path goes too far west and not far enough south.

Here is a sample pseudo-TLE that attempts to capture such a path - very much not a unique solution

1R61335U 13S33    13133.54200000 0.00000000 +00000-0 +00000-0 0    14
2R61335  31.9247  47.1509 8564868  16.7538   7.4862  2.89773317     1
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/16/2013 04:44 AM
A journalist from Kyodo News, Mr T. Inoue, kindly passed on the following statement from the US Defense Dept. which is reported in a recent Kyodo wire service story (I don't have a link to the story). He kindly gives me permission to quote it.


"We detected a launch on May 13 from within China. The launch appeared to be on a ballistic trajectory nearly to geosynchronous Earth orbit. We tracked several objects during the flight but did not observe the insertion of any objects into orbit and no objects associated with this launch remain in space.

"Based upon observations, we assess that the objects reentered the atmosphere above the Indian Ocean. We defer any further questions to the government of China."


If we trust this, we may infer that even if the barium cloud was released at about 10000 km per the Chinese statement, this was well before apogee. This would bring the Chinese and US statements into alignment,
with the caveat that "nearly GEO" is very very vague - does that mean 35000 km? 30000 km? 20000 km?

While I continue to assess that this launch can't be described as an ASAT test in itself, the higher apogee does give more credence to the idea that it may be a test flight for a GEO-ASAT launch vehicle, or at least a proof of concept for such a capability.
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/16/2013 04:59 AM
"We detected a launch on May 13 from within China. The launch appeared to be on a ballistic trajectory nearly to geosynchronous Earth orbit. We tracked several objects during the flight but did not observe the insertion of any objects into orbit and no objects associated with this launch remain in space.
2 more quotes of the same Pentagon spokeswoman declaration:
http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2013/May%202013/May%2016%202013/Chinese-Anti-Satellite-Test.aspx
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/15/us-china-launch-idUSBRE94E07D20130515
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/16/2013 05:32 AM
"We detected a launch on May 13 from within China. The launch appeared to be on a ballistic trajectory nearly to geosynchronous Earth orbit. We tracked several objects during the flight but did not observe the insertion of any objects into orbit and no objects associated with this launch remain in space.
2 more quotes of the same Pentagon spokeswoman declaration:
http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2013/May%202013/May%2016%202013/Chinese-Anti-Satellite-Test.aspx
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/15/us-china-launch-idUSBRE94E07D20130515


Thanks - the AF Mag one is useful as the Reuters one didn't include the crucial statement about 'nearly GEO'.
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/16/2013 06:55 AM

Here is a sample pseudo-TLE that attempts to capture such a path - very much not a unique solution

1R61335U 13S33    13133.54200000 0.00000000 +00000-0 +00000-0 0    14
2R61335  31.9247  47.1509 8564868  16.7538   7.4862  2.89773317     1

This set would imply an apogee of about 32200 km
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/16/2013 12:21 PM

Here is a sample pseudo-TLE that attempts to capture such a path - very much not a unique solution

1R61335U 13S33    13133.54200000 0.00000000 +00000-0 +00000-0 0    14
2R61335  31.9247  47.1509 8564868  16.7538   7.4862  2.89773317     1

This set would imply an apogee of about 32200 km


Yes, which is a number I pulled out of my...  well, let's just say I made it up entirely as a representation of "nearly geostationary" altitude.

I emphasize it's just meant as an illustration of the sort of path the probe might have taken, it's probably off from reality by thousands of km.
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: input~2 on 05/17/2013 04:50 PM
Jonathan: here is a Xin Hua report quoting your views:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/mil/2013-05/17/c_124725806.htm (in Chinese)
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Liss on 05/17/2013 05:11 PM
Jonathan: here is a Xin Hua report quoting your views:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/mil/2013-05/17/c_124725806.htm (in Chinese)
Welcome to the club, Jonathan :-)
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Star One on 05/17/2013 08:49 PM
Just one quick question why is this being described as a 'sounding rocket', it's clearly more than that, reading this thread it was clearly a staged vehicle so the use of the term 'sounding rocket' seems wrong to me?
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/17/2013 09:51 PM
Just one quick question why is this being described as a 'sounding rocket', it's clearly more than that, reading this thread it was clearly a staged vehicle so the use of the term 'sounding rocket' seems wrong to me?

Sounding rockets can also be (and are often) multi stage vehicles.
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/18/2013 01:57 AM
Jonathan: here is a Xin Hua report quoting your views:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/mil/2013-05/17/c_124725806.htm (in Chinese)
Welcome to the club, Jonathan :-)

Honored to be in any club that you're a member of, Igor!
Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: jcm on 05/18/2013 02:14 AM
Just one quick question why is this being described as a 'sounding rocket', it's clearly more than that, reading this thread it was clearly a staged vehicle so the use of the term 'sounding rocket' seems wrong to me?

Sounding rockets can also be (and are often) multi stage vehicles.

I agree. In general 'sounding rocket' has historically been broadly used for any suborbital vehicle for scientific, technology test or other vaguely research oriented purpose.

Early sounding rockets included four and five stage vehicles like Strongarm. The Oriole XII is a 4 stage rocket.

As often in English we can distinguish multiple meanings of the phrase.
1) Sounding rocket, n. : (type of rocket flight) a rocket launched on a suborbital trajectory with a research payload. Distinguished from a missile test or satellite launch. Sometimes includes meteorological rockets.

2) Sounding rocket, n.: (type of rocket vehicle) - a rocket vehicle used mainly for sounding launches, i.e. suborbital research launches.
Usually composed of smaller diameter stages than a satellite launch vehicle or long range ballistic missile.
 
But there have been satellite launch vehicles like Lambda-4S that were physically like sounding rockets.

Title: Re: Sounding rocket (?), XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: Star One on 05/19/2013 08:05 PM
Just one quick question why is this being described as a 'sounding rocket', it's clearly more than that, reading this thread it was clearly a staged vehicle so the use of the term 'sounding rocket' seems wrong to me?

Sounding rockets can also be (and are often) multi stage vehicles.

I agree. In general 'sounding rocket' has historically been broadly used for any suborbital vehicle for scientific, technology test or other vaguely research oriented purpose.

Early sounding rockets included four and five stage vehicles like Strongarm. The Oriole XII is a 4 stage rocket.

As often in English we can distinguish multiple meanings of the phrase.
1) Sounding rocket, n. : (type of rocket flight) a rocket launched on a suborbital trajectory with a research payload. Distinguished from a missile test or satellite launch. Sometimes includes meteorological rockets.

2) Sounding rocket, n.: (type of rocket vehicle) - a rocket vehicle used mainly for sounding launches, i.e. suborbital research launches.
Usually composed of smaller diameter stages than a satellite launch vehicle or long range ballistic missile.
 
But there have been satellite launch vehicles like Lambda-4S that were physically like sounding rockets.



Thanks. Just to explain when I imagine a sounding rocket in my head a certain type of vehicle first comes to mind & whatever completed this launch seemed more than that.
Title: Re: Kunpeng-7, XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: limen4 on 10/19/2013 07:38 PM
A new launch area at XSLC suitable for mobile launchers is visible south east of launch pad 2 and 3. It seems to be built between 2011 and 2012. The attached image was taken on May 21 2013  and can be seen at Google Earth when activating historical images. Note the vehicle tracks.
Title: Re: Kunpeng-7, XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: weedenbc on 10/19/2013 08:03 PM
Yes, that is very interesting. I've been studying it for a few weeks now and plan to publish something in the near future.
Title: Re: Kunpeng-7, XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: edkyle99 on 10/19/2013 08:49 PM
A new launch area at XSLC suitable for mobile launchers is visible south east of launch pad 2 and 3. It seems to be built between 2011 and 2012. The attached image was taken on May 21 2013  and can be seen at Google Earth when activating historical images. Note the vehicle tracks.
I wonder why they would need to create this when a mobile launcher pad already existed at the north end of the site?  It is interesting that the original mobile pad seems to look somewhat derelict in recent images, with "stuff" kind of piling up there, bone yard fashion. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Kunpeng-7, XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: weedenbc on 10/19/2013 10:09 PM
A new launch area at XSLC suitable for mobile launchers is visible south east of launch pad 2 and 3. It seems to be built between 2011 and 2012. The attached image was taken on May 21 2013  and can be seen at Google Earth when activating historical images. Note the vehicle tracks.
I wonder why they would need to create this when a mobile launcher pad already existed at the north end of the site?  It is interesting that the original mobile pad seems to look somewhat derelict in recent images, with "stuff" kind of piling up there, bone yard fashion. 

 - Ed Kyle

That would suggest that the system the NW pad was developed for has reached a level of maturity and is no longer tested on that pad.

Perhaps the new pad is for a rocket that has a different flight profile than the previous one, and thus requires a different pad orientation and layout.
Title: Re: Kunpeng-7, XSLC, May 13th 2013
Post by: weedenbc on 03/27/2014 12:13 PM
My analysis of this launch was published last week:

http://swfound.org/media/167224/Through_a_Glass_Darkly_March2014.pdf

My overall conclusion (which should not be all that surprising to followers of this thread):

"While there is no conclusive proof, the available evidence strongly suggests that China’s May 2013 launch was the test of the rocket component of a new direct ascent ASAT weapons system derived from a road-mobile ballistic missile."

In the report I have commercial satellite imagery of Xichang from April 2013 that shows a TEL on that newly constructed mobile pad to the southeast of the main LM pad.