China launches first satellite for broadband communication

Beijing: China on Saturday launched its first satellite as part of the Hongyun Project, a low-orbit broadband communication satellite system.

A Long March-11 rocket carrying the low Earth-orbit satellite took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China at 7.51 am and successfully entered its orbit, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

“The satellite – the first to be launched as part of China’s Hongyun Project, which focuses on communication, remote sensing and navigation – will serve as a low-orbit base for future internet tests and applications,” according to a statement by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).

According to The Global Times, the statement said the satellite is supported by a spectral thermometer that can achieve high-level atmospheric temperature detection. It also carries an automatic ship identification system (AIS), automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system and a data collection system (DCS) which facilitates in the detection of ships and aircraft.

The Hongyun Project can also offer communication and internet services for China and less-developed countries with reduced latency. It can also play a key role in facilitating emergency communication, sensor data collection and remote control of unmanned equipment.