Jilin-1 Gaofen 03D-04 to 07 & 04A | Long March 11

Lift Off Time
April 30, 2022 – 03:30 UTC | 11:30 BJT
Mission Name
Jilin-1 Gaofen 03D-04 to 07 & 04A
Launch Provider
(What rocket company launched it?)
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
(Who paid for this?)
Chang Guang Satellite Technology Corporation
Long March 11H
Launch Location
Tai Rui Barge, Yellow Sea
Payload mass
Unknown, but up to 700 kg (1,500 lb)
Where did the spacecraft go?
546 x 528 km low-Earth polar orbit at 97.53°
Did they attempt to recover the first stage?
No, this is not a capability of the Long March 11
Where did the first stage land?
It crashed in the ocean
Did they attempt to recover the fairings?
No, this is not a capability of the Long March 11
Were these fairings new?
This was the:
– 13th Long March 11 launch
– 47th orbital launch attempt of 2022 (46th successful)
Where to watch
Unofficial Replay

How Did It Go?

China successfully launched five Earth observation satellites into a polar low-Earth orbit from their sea launch platform, which was located in the Yellow Sea. The satellites were launched aboard a Long March 11H–a modified version of the Long March 11, meant for sea launch.

Jilin-1 Satellites

The Jilin-1 constellation is a set of high definition video remote sensing satellites in low-Earth polar orbit. Currently, there have been over 40 Jilin-1 satellites launched; China would like to increase this number to 138 by the end of 2030. The constellation is China’s first consumer Earth observation satellite, used to help in disaster relief.

The four Gaofen 03D satellites launched are optical systems that have a number different resolutions. One of these elements allows for a resolution of 0.75 meters, and the other is 3 meter resolution.

Along side the Gaofen 03D satellites, launched was a prototype Gaofen 04A prototype satellite. While having the same purpose as the 03D satellites, the 04A has a mass of 42 kg and an improved resolution of 0.5 meters.

What Is The Long March 11?

The Long March 11 is a four-stage small satellite launch vehicle developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The rocket is 20.8 m tall and 2 m in diameter and is capable of putting up to 700 kg (1,500 lb) into low-Earth orbit or 350 kg (770 lb) into a Sun-synchronous orbit.

The rocket is incredibly versatile, having been designed with the capability of launching on short notice and launching from road vehicles and ships, specifically specially converted barges, namely the Tai Rui and the De Bo 3. The maiden flight of the rocket happened in September 2015 and it has since launched twelve times, two of which have been at sea.

Long March 11, De Bo 3 launch platform
A Long March 11 rocket launches from the De Bo 3 in 2020 (Credit: Xinhua)

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