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China launches first shared education satellite

China launches first shared education satellite

According
to a report
by Xinhua, China launched its first shared education satellite, Young Pioneer
1, into space from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. Carried by the Long
March-2D rocket, the 3-kg CubeSat Young Pioneer 1 entered an orbit of 502km
above the Earth on Feb 2.

As
China’s first shared education satellite, Young Pioneer 1 will perform wireless
storage and transmission of radio waves at UV frequency, space imaging and the
verification of user links to the Internet of Things (IoT).  

After
in-orbit tests, Young Pioneer 1 will share its data resources with primary and
secondary schools and other education institutions equipped with sub-stations
in China. It will provide students with experiences like wireless communication
and space photography.

Students
are also involved in the design of Young Pioneer 1. Since 2016, the design of
the satellite has seen the participation of students from over 1,000 schools
across China. Functions such as wireless communication and space photography
were also inspired by ideas and proposals from these young enthusiasts.

In
December 2017, the main ground station of Young Pioneer 1 was completed in the
China Soong Ching Ling Science and Culture Center For Young People. It will
allow young people to gain a thorough view of the satellite's position, orbit
and pictures. To spark students’ interest in space and technology, a series of
sub-stations have been constructed or are under construction in schools in
Beijing, and Hainan, Guangdong and Henan provinces.

Young
Pioneer 1 was manufactured and tested by Commsat, a Beijing-based commercial
aerospace and private satellite company funded by the Xi'an Institute of Optics
and Precision Mechanics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Xinhua
quoted Xie Tao, Founder and CEO of Commsat, who shared that the Young Pioneer 1
satellite is equipped with “an intelligent CPU chip that will enable the
satellite to restart if problems occur, just like a smart phone.”

In
the latter half of 2018, Commsat plans to launch a constellation of seven
satellites, including an entertainment satellite in cooperation with ofo, a
Chinese bike-sharing company.

According
to a report
by China Daily, the Long March-2D rocket also carried Zhangheng 1, an
electromagnetic satellite to study earthquake data, and five other miniaturized
satellites.  

Zhangheng
1 (ZH-1) is China's first space-based platform for earthquake observation. The
satellite is an important platform for studying the electromagnetic environment
of Earth and has vital applications in research into the precursors of
earthquakes.

The 730-kg
Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite ZH-1 fills a blank in China's exploration of
the global geomagnetic field, the ionospheric environment and its variations,
which are closely related to earthquakes.

“The
launch marks China's preliminary establishment of a dynamic three-dimensional
earthquake monitoring system throughout the country, by filling the
observational gaps in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and sea regions in ground-based
networks,” Zheng Guoguang, Head of the China Earthquake Administration,
commented.

With a design service life of five years, ZH-1
is the first Chinese satellite launched for geophysical field exploration. A
second satellite, with a more accurate measurement capability, is expected to
be launched in 2020.

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