Golden Bauhinia 1-03 | Ceres-1

Lift Off Time
December 07, 2021 – 04:12 UTC | 12:12 BJT
Mission Name
Golden Bauhina 1-03, a technology demonstration satellite
Launch Provider
(What rocket company launched it?)
Galactic Energy
(Who paid for this?)
Lingzhong Kongjian Jishu (Beijing Zero G Lab)
Launch Location
Site 95, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China
Payload mass
Unknown, no more than 350 kg
Where did the satellite go?
Unknown low-Earth orbit
Did they attempt to recover the first stage?
No, Ceres-1 is not capable of recovery
Where did the first stage land?
It crashed into mainland China
Did they attempt to recover the fairings?
No, Ceres-1 is not capable of recovery
Were these fairings new?
This was the:
– 2nd Ceres-1 launch
– 1st Ceres-1 launch of 2021
– 124th orbital launch attempt of 2021 (117th successful)
Where to watch
An official replay is not available

How Did It Go?

Galactic Energy successfully launched the Golden Bauhinia 1-03 satellite atop the Ceres-1 rocket to an unknown low-Earth orbit. The Golden Bauhinia 1-03 satellite (also called Jinzijing 1-03) is a follow up to the Golden Bauhinia 1-01 and 1-02 missions, which both launched on a Long March 6 rocket in April of this year.

Golden Bauhinia 1-03 Mission

Like most Chinese launches, little is known about the the payload. As the name implies, the Golden Bauhinia 1-03 satellite is the third Golden Bauhinia and the first launched by the Ceres-1 launch vehicle. The previous two satellites were launched on May 27, 2021 atop a Long March 6 rocket.

The Golden Bauhinia satellites are demonstration satellites, with the goal of verifying that observing ground targets is possible through visible light remote sensing. Each satellite is equipped with two solar arrays and batteries, which are presumably used power some form of attitude control. The satellites are developed and operated by the Beijing Zero G Lab (also known as Lingzhong Kongjian Jishu).


The Ceres-1 is a four stage privately developed rocket that is built, manufactured, and launched by Galactic Energy. The first three stages of the rocket utilize solid rocket motors (SRMs), which burn hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB), the same propellent that Virgin Galactic uses in their SpaceShipTwo vehicle. The fourth stage uses a hypergolic propulsion system, which uses hydrazine. The use of a liquid fourth stage allows for the payloads to be placed in accurate orbits.

The rocket stands 19 m (62 ft) tall and is 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in) in diameter. This allows for the vehicle to play up to 350 kg (770 lb) into low-Earth orbit.

Ceres-1 is named after Ceres, the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt. This symbolizes one of the company’s main goals: asteroid mining.

Ceres-1 first launched on November 7, 2020, taking the Tianqi 11 satellite to a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO). The maiden launch of the rocket made Galactic Energy the second private company in China to successfully put a satellite into orbit, and the fourth company to attempt it.

The Ceres-1 (Credit: Galactic Energy)

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