Satellite's launch marks milestone

By Zhao Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-03 02:12
A Long March 2D rocket carrying several satellites is launched on Friday. LI SHENGCHENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

China's first individually funded satellite was launched on Friday and will operate in space for one year to take and transmit pictures and videos of the universe, according to parties involved in the program.

The FMN 1 is a panoramic-camera CubeSat, a type of miniaturized satellite made up of multiple cubic units, and will be used to help members of the public observe outer space, according to a statement from China Great Wall Industry Corp, which provided the launch service. 

The satellite was lifted atop a Long March 2D carrier rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China, along with the much larger ZH 1 — the nation's first seismo-electromagnetic satellite, which can help scientists better study earthquakes — as well as five other small satellites like the FMN 1. 

The satellite program was funded solely by real estate tycoon Feng Lun, chairman of Beijing-based Vantone Holdings, who is also author of several business-theme books, according to Hu Zhenyu, CEO of LinkSpace Aerospace Technology, a space industry startup in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, that was commissioned by Feng to develop and build the satellite. 

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