Launch Updates - Analytical Graphics, Inc.

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New Launch: 2011 November 29, 1850 UTC
Site: Taiyuan Space Center, PRC
Launcher: Long March 2C (Chang Zheng 2C)
International Designator(s): 2011-072A
SSC Name Owner
37941 YAOGAN 13 PRC

"A Long March rocket blasted off with a Chinese reconnaissance satellite Tuesday on an unannounced mission to collect imagery of strategic sites around the world.

"The Yaogan 13 remote sensing satellite took off at 1850 GMT (1:50 p.m. EST) Tuesday from the Taiyuan launching base in Shanxi province of northern China. Launch occurred at 2:50 a.m. Wednesday Beijing time.

"The two-stage Long March 2C rocket placed the payload in a sun-synchronous orbit with an average altitude of about 300 miles [483 km], according to satellite tracking data.

"The launch was successful, according to the the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

"The Yaogan series of satellites gather optical and radar reconnaissance imagery for Chinese military and intelligence agencies. Yaogan 13 may carry a synthetic aperture radar sensor to peer through clouds for all-weather, night-and-day image collection.

"Chinese officials have not divulged details of the Yaogan 13 satellite."

[Note: This launch notification was delayed pending identification by USSTRATCOM, which is still not available. This identification is based on analysis of the available TLE data.]

Source: Spaceflight Now, "Chinese reconnaissance satellite reaches orbit"

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