Quad-Sat Launch by KZ-1A Rocket

On January 5th at 19:20, The Kuaizhou-1A solid-fuel rocket, operated by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation’s (CASIC) Sanjiang Group, successfully launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. In a remarkable “one rocket, four satellites” deployment, the mission delivered satellites 15 to 18 of the Tianmu No.1 meteorological constellation into their planned orbits. This launch represented a triumphant start to China’s aerospace endeavors for 2024.

At 19:20 on January 5th, the Kuaizhou-1A solid-fuel rocket ignited and lifted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, successfully deploying the Tianmu No.1 satellites 15 to 18 into orbit, marking a successful start to China’s 2024 aerospace launches. Photo by Jiang Bo

Since March 22, 2023, the Kuaizhou-1A rocket has conducted a series of launches, deploying the 03 to 22 satellites of the Tianmu No.1 meteorological constellation in a “5 batches, 20 satellites” approach. This milestone completes the current phase of the Tianmu No.1 constellation network, showcasing the Kuaizhou-1A’s capacity for bulk delivery.

The Tianmu No.1 meteorological satellites 15 to 18, developed by the Aerospace System Company under CASIC, are designed to acquire global atmospheric environmental data. Once the constellation is fully operational, it will enable comprehensive, round-the-clock, three-dimensional, integrated monitoring covering the oceans, atmosphere, and ionosphere. The completed Tianmu No.1 constellation will furnish more than 25,000 atmospheric profiles daily through its sun-synchronous orbit sub-constellation, enhancing China’s numerical weather prediction and providing detailed meteorological services for various industry users.

The Kuaizhou-1A rocket, responsible for this mission, is a small solid-fuel launch vehicle developed by ExPace, a company under CASIC, intended primarily for launching 300 kg-class low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. It boasts high reliability, precise orbit insertion, short preparation time, minimal support requirements, and cost-effective launch services. This mission constitutes the 25th flight for the Kuaizhou-1A launch vehicle.

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