Sunday, February 04, 2024

China Smart Dragon-3 Rocket Sea Launches Egypt's NExSat-1 + 8 Satellites

China Smart Dragon-3 Rocket Sea Launches Egypt's NExSat-1 + 8 Satellites

A Smart Dragon-3 sea-based solid-fueled rocket successfully launched nine satellites, including NExSat-1 for the Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA), from a sea-based platform off the coast of Yangjiang, Guangdong Province, China, on February 3, 2024, at 03:06 UTC (11:06 local time). Smart Dragon-3 (SD-3, also known as Lightning Dragon No. 3, Jielong-3) is a solid-propellant rocket developed by the China Rocket Co. Ltd., affiliated to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALVT). The launch was coordinated by the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center and was the third mission for the Smart Dragon-3 launch vehicle.

The rocket carried satellites for a variety of customers. NExSat 1 is an experimental Earth observation satellite built by the National Authority of Space Sciences (NARSS) in Egypt in collaboration with Berlin Space Technologies (BST).

Other satellites included Dongfang Huiang-01, also known as Yantai-2, a remote sensing satellite with a resolution of 0.5 meters and autonomous processing. 

Little is known about DRO-L. It was developed by the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IAMCAS). The DRO satellite may be a low Earth orbit link navigation satellite launched in preparation for the upcoming launch of experimental small lunar navigation satellites, Tiandu-1 and 2. The pair are expected to launch for the Moon along with the Queqiao-2 lunar relay satellite around March 2024.

Credit: China Central Television (CCTV)/China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)

Acknowledgement: SciNews/SpaceNews

Duration: 1 minute, 24 seconds

Release Date: Feb. 3, 2024

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