China launched a rocket into space on Tuesday from waters near Haiyang, a coastal city in eastern Shandong province, putting four satellites into planned orbit.

The commercial launch vehicle, CERES-1, took off at 5:34 pm (Beijing Time). The Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center conducted the offshore mission.

Rocket maker Galactic Energy said it was the 9th flight and the first sea-based mission of the CERES-1 series. The launch also made Galactic Energy the first Chinese private company to complete a sea liftoff.

Compared to a land launch, sea launch is a new mode, with more flexibility, better adaptability and more cost-effective services. In addition, the flexible placement of launch and landing areas can ensure the economy of rocket stages. Other debris lands in the sea rather than on land near populated areas. These advantages give the company the confidence to increase the frequency of sea launches in the future.

Aboard the CERES-1 rocket were four Tianqi satellites (21-24), developed by Guodian Gaoke, a Beijing-based commercial science technology company, which are part of the Tianqi low-Earth orbit Internet of Things constellation.

The 38-satellite constellation will become operational in 2024 and will provide global data services for application scenarios such as emergency communications, ecological environment monitoring and tower detection.


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