China has launched its second mission into space within 24 hours, with the orbiting of the Kuaizhou-2 natural disaster monitoring satellite. Launch took place at 6:37 UTC Friday – utilizing the second launch of the KZ Kuaizhou all-solid rocket – from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yesterday, the Chinese launched the Yaogan-24 remote sensing satellite at 7:12 UTC from the same satellite launch center. Yaogan satellites will mainly be used for scientific experiments, natural resource surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief.
The Yaogan-24 was carried by a Long March-2D rocket, the 199th mission for the Long March rocket family.
Once again Chinese media is referring to the new satellite as "a new remote sensing bird that will be used for scientific experiments, land survey, crop yield assessment, and disaster monitoring."
As was the case in the last launches of the Yaogan Weixing series, western analysts believe this class of satellites is used for military purposes.
Yaogan-24 is probably an electro-optical observation satellite on the military Jianbing-6 series.
China launched the first satellite in the "Yaogan" series, Yaogan-1, in 2006.
Unlike a lot of Chinese launches of late – most of which utilize the Long March family of rockets – this second flight of Kuaizhou had been expected for a few months, and was even announced well in advance.
The Kuaizhou rocket is designed for quick-reaction launches for China.
China launched the first Kuaizhou satellite in September last year.