China’s Geely launches first nine low-orbit satellites for autonomous cars


SHANGHAI, June 2 (Reuters) – China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Team executed its initially successful satellite start on Wednesday, sending 9 into lower earth orbit as it builds out a satellite community to give additional precise navigation for autonomous autos.

The self-built and created GeeSAT-1 satellites, were being launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan. Geely stated it expects a further 63 to be in orbit by 2025 and sooner or later programs to have a constellation of 240.

With the start, Geely gets to be the next big automaker to have an allied room business enterprise. SpaceX, owned by Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Main Executive Elon Musk, has more than 2,000 satellites in orbit for its Starlink community that gives business online services. Starlink strategies to have a first-generation network of 4,408 satellites.

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Though SpaceX employs its personal rockets to launch its satellites, Geely applied a Extended March 2C rocket formulated and operated by a Chinese point out-owned entity to start the 9.

In addition to supplying large-precision positioning support to self-driving vehicles, Geely explained its network will also provide other professional functions these kinds of as delivering interaction products and services at the Asian Games in September.

The satellites have an running lifespan of 5 years and will disintegrate in earth’s atmosphere without leaving any house particles, the company added.

China’s satellite networks are dominated by its navy but the govt started to make it possible for private investment in the country’s area market in 2014. Since then, commercial firms, some backed by community governments, have rushed into the sector, with the vast majority focusing on producing satellites and the relaxation making an attempt to construct smaller launch vehicles including reusable rockets.

In its latest 5-yr program for 2021-2025, Beijing has called for an integrated network of satellites for communications, remote sensing and navigation. China currently has a lot more than 400 satellites deployed in space, which include commercially owned satellites, in accordance to point out media.

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Reporting by Zhang Yan and Ryan Woo Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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