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Classified Chinese satellite releases small object in orbit - Space.com

Classified Chinese satellite releases small object in orbit - Space.com

Classified Chinese satellite releases small object in orbit - Space.com
Jan 24, 2023 46 secs

A classified Chinese technology verification satellite that launched earlier this month has apparently released an object into orbit alongside it.

18 SDS lists the object as an "AKM" or apogee kick motor, which is used in some launches to help a satellite reach its destination orbit.

Shijian 21 then proceeded to dock(opens in new tab) with the defunct Chinese navigation and positioning satellite Beidou-2 G2 and towed it away to an orbit out of the way of the active spacecraft in GEO.

The geostationary belt is very useful for a range of applications, as satellites orbiting there move in sync with Earth's rotation, making them appear fixed in the sky over the planet.

The satellite was described tersely as "mainly used for scientific experiments and technical verification" by Chinese state media.

Andrew first caught the space bug when, as a youngster, he saw Voyager images of other worlds in our solar system for the first time.

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