China’s Space Program, Satellites for Tech Experiments, and ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT)

China sent two new satellites into planned orbit on Saturday — these will be mainly used for the new Earth-observation technology experiment.

Earlier, on May 12, China launched the first two satellites in a new constellation that will support internet-connected objects.

The satellites are the first in a planned constellation of 80 low Earth orbit satellites designed to support the so-called Internet of Things, (IoT) which connects a host of sensors and everyday objects through wireless communications.

The 80-satellite constellation is planned for completion by 2023, according to another statement from CASIC.

The launch came after this month’s successful launch and return of the trial version of China’s new-generation manned spaceship.

The test spaceship was launched into orbit on May 5 and returned on May 8 after being in orbit for two days and 19 hours.

Artist impression of the future Chinese Space Station. Credit: CMSA

On board the module was a national flag of Pakistan — showcasing another significant milestone of Pakistan-China bilateral space cooperation.

China plans to inaugurate its large modular space station this year which will be placed in low orbit, says a report. It will be roughly one-fifth of the mass of the International Space Station and about the size of the decommissioned Russian Mir space station.

It is preparing to carry out 11 missions in two years to construct the space station.

Earlier in March, China launched a group of several remote sensing satellites into space which, it had said, will be utilized for electromagnetic environment detection and other technological tests.

A report said these were military satellites with undisclosed missions rocketed into a 370-mile-high (600-kilometer) orbit on a Long March 2C launcher.

According to reports, China will launch its Tianwen-1 Mars mission in July and Chang’e-5 lunar sample return in the fourth quarter this year.