Satellites mark start of space network

By Zhao Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-12 11:12

[Video by Hu Jun / For China Daily]

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp used one of its rockets to launch two technology demonstration satellites on Tuesday morning. It was a start in building what the company considers will be the nation's first space-based network for the internet of things, according to the company.

Xingyun 2-01 and Xingyun 2-02, the first satellites in the Xingyun, or Moving Cloud, network, were lifted atop a Kuaizhou 1A solid-propellant carrier rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China. The satellites were placed in a sun-synchronous orbit 561 kilometers above Earth, State-owned space and defense contractor CASIC said in a statement.

The company said that Xingyun 2-01 was also named Wuhan in honor of the Hubei province capital, which was hit hard by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The rocket used in the mission was painted with images of medical workers to salute doctors and nurses who fought the highly infectious disease.

The two satellites are tasked with verifying technologies such as laser-enabled intersatellite communication and data transfers between satellites and the ground-based internet of things, which refers to a network of devices, vehicles and other objects with software or sensors that allow them to connect and exchange data.

They will conduct trial runs in polar and marine environmental research, geological disaster monitoring, meteorological forecasting and maritime communication.

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