CASC - China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite patch.
February 2, 2018
Long March 2D Launches CSES & MicroSatellites. Image Credit: CASC
China launched a Long March 2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Friday, carrying a group of seven satellites from China, Italy, Argentina and Denmark including an innovative experiment to study the ionospheric precursors of Earthquakes to evaluate whether forecasting of strong Earthquakes will be possible from an orbital vantage point.
Friday’s launch occurred at 7:51 UTC from Jiuquan’s Launch Complex 43 and the two-stage rocket was headed to the south west toward a 500-Kilometer orbit from where its payloads will operate. Chinese state media declared the launch successful not long after the vehicle achieved orbit and the first payload teams confirmed signals from their satellites were being received.
Long March-2D launches China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite
Friday’s launch placed into orbit the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES) “Zhangheng-1”, the next two satellites of the commercial Aleph-1 imaging constellation operated by Satellogic, the GOMX 4A and 4B duo experimenting with inter-satellite communications & stationkeeping, and the Chinese FengMaNiu 1 and Shaonian Xing CubeSats completing technology demonstration and outreach missions via amateur radio equipment.
Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES). Image Credit: CAST
Zhangheng-1 is a 730-Kilogram, multi-instrument satellite named after Han Dynasty scholar Zhang Heng, setting out to complete a comprehensive study of the ionospheric precursors of Earthquakes using particle, magnetic & electric field and plasma sensors. The satellite, baselined for a five-year science mission, is based on the CAST2000 satellite platform and was developed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the China Earthquake Administration and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) which provided the High-Energy Particle Detector instrument.
The reliable prediction of Earthquakes brings the potential of saving hundreds if not thousands of lives every year, but so far only came with false starts and methodology based on flawed science. However, promising leads have been found in data from orbiting satellites that showed Earth’s crust may be giving hints before large tremors in the form of electromagnetic anomalies that will then percolate through Earth’s ionosphere up to altitudes of several hundred Kilometers where they can be detected between a few minutes to a few days before an Earthquake.
For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC): http://english.spacechina.com/n16421/index.html
Images (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: CASC/SpaceFlight101.com/SciNews.