China has launched a new communication satellite (ChinaSat 2C) carried aboard the Long March 3B rocket. The rocket blasted off from Xichang Space Center in southwest China’s Sichuan province on Tuesday at 16:25 GMT (11:25 a.m. EST). The ChinaSat 2C satellite will provide radio, TV transmission and broadband services for the nation’s radio stations, TV Broadcast Stations, and cable networks.
However, the secretive nature of the launch and the payloads hint that the satellite could be for military applications. Experts named the satellite as military Zhongxing-2C.
Earlier also satellites of this type were designed for military communication and also for secure data and voice communication for People’s Liberation Army.
The launch was made at 00:25 Beijing time on Wednesday. It was the 13th launch in 2015 and the 216th Long March flight till date.
The secretive nature of the launch can be gauged from the amateur video that showed the early footage and the images of the launch.
The Long March 3B is the most powerful rocket in China’s inventory. A more powerful rocket, Long March 5 and seven will be launched next year.
China Launches New Communication Satellite: ChinaSat 2C
It was the thirteenth launch by China in 2015. It includes the Gaofen-8, Gaofen-9 and Yaogan Weixing-27 earth observation satellites, four Beidou global positioning satellites, a highly classified Ka-band communication test satellite, maiden flights of Long March 6 and the solid fuelled Long March 11.
China also launched it commercial remote sensing satellite Jilin-1, and APSTAR-9 was launched for a regional satellite fleet operator and Tianhui-1C Earth Observation Satellite.
The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, which directs China’s space activities, informed that it will make 20 launches in 2015. It means in the final quarter of this year, more than seven launches will be made. China had also launched the DAMPE probe to seek out the existence of dark matter.