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China conducts its first observation and control of an extra-distant satellite--"Probe No.1" satellite runs smoothly in orbit

PLA Daily 2004-01-06

On January 4, Xi'an Satellite Observation and Control Center conducted a precision altitude control of the "Probe No.1" before the satellite completed a series of pre-set movements in space and settled down in its predefined position. Data transferred from Tance 1 suggested that the satellite was running smoothly with all devices on it in normal operation. This was the first time that China successfully used an observation and control network based on near-earth observation and control systems to track and control a space vessel more than 70, 000 kilometers away.

According to historical statistics, China had tracked, with its observation and control systems, satellites at a maximum distance of about 40, 000 kilometers. "Probe No.1" satellite's apogee is 78,051 kilometers, almost twice that of regular geosynchronous satellites.

"Probe No.1" was launched into space by a Long March 2 C rocket at 03:0618 on December 30, 2003 (BT) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. "Probe No.1" is the first satellite under Sino-European Double Star project and its orbit is so far the farthest from the Earth among satellites ever launched by China.

By Sun Yang and Liu Cheng

(January 6, PLA Daily)

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