MOSCOW, December 27 (Sputnik) — The Chinese launched Yaogan Weixing series satellite on Saturday. The launch of Yaogan Weixing-26 took place at 03:22 UTC using a Long March-4B launch rocket from the LC9 launch complex at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, reports NASA.
According to a website, China Org, the spacecraft will be used as a new remote detecting device that will be utilized for scientific experiments, land surveys, crop yield assessments and disaster monitoring.
Nevertheless, the NASA space and flight website has reported that, as was the case in previous launches of the Yaogan Weixing series, analysts believe this class of satellites is used for military purposes. Moreover, it further stated that, as was the case with satellites in the former Soviet Union bearing the ‘Cosmos’ designation, the ‘Yaogan’ label is allegedly used to hide the true military nature of the vehicles orbited.
China launched the first "Yaogan" series satellite, Yaogan-1, back in 2006.
The launch center is situated in Kelan County in the northwest part of Shanxi Province. The Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) has two single-pad launch complexes, a technical area for rocket and spacecraft preparations, a communications center, a mission command and control center, and a space tracking center, reports NASA.
The rocket stages were transported to the launch center by railway, and offloaded at a transit station south of the launch complex. They were then transported by road to a technical area for checkout procedures.