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China initiates satellite for ocean monitoring

A Chinese civilian-operated oceanography satellite was set up in orbit following its launch on a Long March 2C spaceship on Wednesday, joining a precursor deployed in 2018 to watch the color and temperatures of the ocean.

Chinese engineers also started modifications to the Long March 2C’s freight fairing to assist the structure in maintaining its shape during its descending to Earth, the recent in a series of tests that could assist in leading to the revival and reuse of the future Chinese spacecraft.

The Long March 2C spacecraft launched with the Haiyang 1D oceanography satellite from the Space Center of Taiyuan situated in northern  Shanxi province in China on Wednesday at 1831 GMT (2:31 p.m. EDT).

The launch happened on Thursday at 2:31 a.m. Beijing time. Propelled by hydrazine engines, the two-stage launcher lifted off from Taiyuan with a thrust of more than 600,000 pounds and arced toward the south to take the Haiyang 1D spaceship to a polar orbit disposed of 98.4 degrees towards the equator.

The tracking data of the United States of America military showed that the satellite positioned into an orbit, which is about 480 miles (775 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface, close enough to the prelaunch objective. The China officials announced that the launch was successful. 

The Chinese Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), stated that engineers brought changes to the Long March 2C’s payload fairing for the sendoff.  The CALT is the foremost state-owned launch vehicle manufacturer of China. 

Few minutes after the sendoff and after ejecting from the launcher, the payload shroud on Chinese spacecraft typically detaches and falls on the ground automatically. Designed by lightweight, thin walls to lessen the mass, the two-piece payload fairing could lose its shape during fall back. 

According to CALT, the Chinese bureaucrats added an X-shaped ray to strengthen the fairing structure to protect the nose cone from damage during the fall back to the Earth’s surface. Engineers also set up an optional fiber sensor on the fairing to help in measuring strain, stress, and other structures during the fall back through the atmosphere. 

The satellite will monitor the ocean floor, a measurement that assists scientists in tracking pollution and natural constituents of the ocean, such as chlorophyll. Haiyang 1D will also help in measuring the temperatures on the sea surfaces, image coastal waters, and also identify signals coming from ships. The measurements will then be used in farming operations, weather forecasting, and water conservation.