[QUOTE][SIZE=7]China Adds Fourth LKW Constellation Member via Successful Long March 2D Launch[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][url=http://spaceflight101.com/long-march-2d-launches-lkw-4/][COLOR=#ACACAC]March 17, 2018[/COLOR][/url][/SIZE]
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China was back in action on Saturday with the country’s eighth orbital space launch of the year, deploying the fourth satellite in the LKW “Land Survey Constellation.” Returning from Spring Festivities in February, typically accompanied by a lull in space activities, the Chinese continue heading through a packed launch manifest lined up for 2018.
Saturday’s launch involved a Long March 2D rocket lifting off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 7:10 UTC to deliver the fourth member of the Ludikancha Weixing system to orbit. Official confirmation of launch success filtered through around half an hour after the 3:10 p.m. local time liftoff, indicating LKW-4 had achieved its planned orbit co-planar with the third constellation member in a system optimized for revisit coverage.
The LKW System has been one of three particular focus points of Chinese space operations in recent months, the other two being the [url=http://spaceflight101.com/tag/yaogan-30/]Yaogan-30 constellation[/url] and the [url=http://spaceflight101.com/tag/beidou/]Beidou-3 navigation satellite system[/url]. All three projects saw heightened launch rates and the LKW and Yaogan-30 projects in particular went from inauguration to constellation-strength in a matter of only a few months, indicating their importance in the overall framework of Chinese military and/or civilian space activities.