China wants to send 60 Jilin-1 video satellites by 2020, according to Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd., the developer of Jilin-1 satellites. The company revealed the information at an ongoing legislative session of northeast China’s Jilin Province, according to the Xinhua News.
So far, China has sent 10 Jilin-1 satellites into space. In October 2015, Chinese space agency sent four Jilin-1 satellites into space using a Long March 2D rocket. The 450 kg Jilin-1A satellite is capable of still imaging at a ground resolution of 72 cm.
In January 2017, Jilin-1 Video 03 was sent into space through the inaugural Kuaizhou-1A mission. In November 2017, three Jilin-1 Video satellites (Jilin-1 Video 04, 05 and 06) were put into orbit using Long March 6 rocket.
On January 19, 2018, Jilin-1 Video 07 and 08 were also launched by the Chinese space agency. These satellites will send remote sensing and Earth observation data to government agencies as well as to the commercial market, with application in areas such as resource exploration, forecasting and mitigation of natural disasters, and monitoring tasks.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 19, 2018
The January 2018 launch was conducted from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. A Long March-11 rocket carried these satellites into space and put them in designated orbits. This was the 100th aerospace launch mission by the Jiuquan launch center and the 264th mission of the Long March rocket series.
Jilin-1 is a high-resolution optical remote sensing satellite developed for commercial use. The funding for this project has been provided by the Jilin province with an aim to accelerate a local satellite production capability. The project is supported by The China Academy of Sciences, the Harbin Institute of Technology and different contractors delivering satellite components for the project. The aim is to establish an Earth observation system using satellites with high-resolution still- and video-imaging capabilities.
With eight video satellites in orbit, Jilin-1 is already halfway to its initial goal of a 16-satellite constellation in space. The agencies are planning to complete expansion to 16 constellation members by 2019.