Author Topic: Long March-4B launch with Shijian 16 - Jiuquan - October 25, 2013  (Read 22993 times)

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

OK the number of question marks is reaching ridiculous levels, but please carry on reading the rest of the post.....  ;)

It appears that the follow on constellation to the SJ-6 series may be going up soon, but what it consists of, what will be its name, what is launching it (them?) and even where it will go out are rather unclear. The only thing we know is:

1. It is being launched on a CZ-4 series rocket
2. It "should be" going out of Jiuquan  (but that's just a guess from the tight scheduling of the 2 LEO launch centers)
3. It "should" consist of multiple satellites
4. It "should" get a SJ-X designation, where X isn't 6, 11 or 13; and is probably distinct from YG-18 now in Taiyuan
5. It "should" be launching rather soon - hints have came out already by mid-September, but the vague hints and another secret yet entirely not related launch from Jiuquan on Sept. 25 has muddled the water even further
6. All active Chinese tracking ships are not at sea

Sooo...... what now?  :-\
« Last Edit: 10/25/2013 11:15 am by Satori »
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Offline Phillip Clark

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Isn't this uncertainty fun? :-)   It's like the good ol' days of secrecy.
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane - WJ.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Well.........without any hints this was launched as SJ-16 today at 03:50 UTC! More news coming soon....
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Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Well..... back in September in a Chinese spaceflight forum I tried to fit this launch (at that time assumed launching with a CZ-4C) with an ELINT satellite in a Molniya orbit. Turns out that I was wrong.....however the orbit is just as strange: NORAD is reporting an object in an 599*616*74.98 deg. orbit (which explains the first time use of a CZ-4B from JSLC - there's no way of launching a satellite into 75 deg. inclination orbits from Taiyuan without dropping stages into places with lots of residents). Anyone knows what satellites have a similar orbit?  ???

BTW the official news reports that the satellite will be used for "space environment measurements & technology testing" - so that essentially confirms that it is the follow-on to the SJ-6 series.
« Last Edit: 10/25/2013 07:39 am by Galactic Penguin SST »
Astronomy & spaceflight geek penguin. In a relationship w/ Space Shuttle Discovery. Current Priority: Chasing the Chinese Spaceflight Wonder Egg & A Certain Chinese Mars Rover

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Astronomy & spaceflight geek penguin. In a relationship w/ Space Shuttle Discovery. Current Priority: Chasing the Chinese Spaceflight Wonder Egg & A Certain Chinese Mars Rover

Offline input~2

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Re: CZ-4B launch with Shijian 16 - Jiuquan - October 25, 2013
« Reply #5 on: 10/25/2013 10:24 am »
2 objects have been catalogued by USSTRATCOM:

39358/2013-057A in 599 x 616 km x 74.98° (epoch Oct 25, 0455UTC)
39359/ 2013-057B in 476 x 603 km x 75.03° (epoch Oct 25, 0630UTC)

Offline Satori

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Offline Satori

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Launch time 0350:03.536UTC ?

Offline input~2

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Offline input~2

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Anyone knows what satellites have a similar orbit?  ???
Kondor (Cosmos 2487), a Russian radar IMINT S/C launched last June is now in
494 x 498 km x 74.74°

Offline Chris Bergin

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Offline Star One

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Rui's article:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/10/chinese-long-march-4b-shijian-16/

Thanks for that article. Definitely looks a follow up series with two objects being catalogued after launch.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

A longer news report with a good model of the satellite shown: http://news.cntv.cn/2013/10/25/VIDE1382700720887602.shtml
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Offline input~2

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Offline input~2

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Definitely looks a follow up series with two objects being catalogued after launch.
The second object (2013-057B) could be CZ-4B 3rd stage

Offline input~2

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Debris of the first stage were found near Amuquhu village in Gansu province (N344838 E1024124), some 700 km SE of JSLC.
(source via 9ifly)

edit: More precisely, the debris location is said to be halfway between Amchogཨ་མཆོག (Amuquhu) and Sangkog (Sangke), ie N345510 E1023438
« Last Edit: 10/30/2013 09:01 am by input~2 »

Offline Lars_J

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I haven't seen many Chinese launches, but is it normal for the rocket to shed so much debris at launch?
« Last Edit: 10/25/2013 04:53 pm by Lars_J »

Offline Satori

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I haven't seen many Chinese launches, but is it normal for the rocket to shed so much debris at launch?

Yes, it is.

Offline Lars_J

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I haven't seen many Chinese launches, but is it normal for the rocket to shed so much debris at launch?

Yes, it is.

Then what are the pieces? Insulation panels for the fairing?

Offline russianhalo117

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I haven't seen many Chinese launches, but is it normal for the rocket to shed so much debris at launch?

Yes, it is.

Then what are the pieces? Insulation panels for the fairing?
Protective covers and insulation primarily

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