Long March 2C launches new 9 navigation test satellites

Nine positioning and connectivity navigation test satellites are launched by a Long March 2C, on Thursday. This is considered the first step for a constellation which is done in order to support autonomous driving for automaker Geely.

A Long March 2C launches from Xichang Satellite Launch Center

In the early hours of Thursday, at about 12:00 a.m., a Long March 2C was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwest part of China. The launch was a great success as specified by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). It is also revealed that the payload for the Geespace is about GeeSAT-5 (01-09).

What does Geespace say about the launch?

Navigation test satellites
A render of Geely’s GeeSat navigation and connectivity satellites in low Earth orbit. Credit: Geespace/Spacenews)

Geespace is well known and established company that operates commercial satellites. In addition to developing, producing, and operating the low-orbit commercial satellites, the company has a wholly-owned subsidiary within the Geely Technology Group. Geespace also gives a confirmation that all the nine satellites functioned as expected after they made contact with a ground station in Korla.

(More on China Launched successfully Long March 2C with new Siwei 01 and Siwei 02)

(More on What is China’s Long March Rocket series? Here)

What is the Geely Future Mobility Constellation?

The Geely Future Mobility Constellation is supposed to consist of a total of 240 satellites. The above nine satellites that are launched are also part of the ‘Geely Future Mobility Constellation’. However, the first phase consisting of about 72 satellites is having a plan to be launched into orbit by the end of 2025. On the other hand, the second phase consisting of 168 satellites is expected to follow the launch of the first phase.

The CEO and Chief Scientist of Geespace, Tony Wang, specified that there are many favorable factors that accelerate the growth of the current aerospace sector. Some of these factors include policy support and the present market demand. With the help of the Geely Future Mobility Constellation, Geespace is making itself ready for the future user demands that might arise.

What are the nine navigation test satellites useful for?

Navigation test Satellites
(credit: NASAspaceflight)

The nine navigation test satellites launched by a Long March 2C will provide the highest centimeter-level accuracy concerning the positioning of the satellite. In addition to that, they are also expected to provide connectivity support for the Geely brand cars and ultimately support the idea of autonomous driving in these cars.

(More on Moon High Ambitions: China Plans to launch constellation around the moon Here)

(More on China’s Five-year plan for its space missions – China’s 2021 perspective white paper Here)

What is the lifespan of the launched satellites?

Each of the launched satellites is considered a modular, high-performance-based, and high-resilience-based satellite. Most of them will be having a lifespan of about five years. However, Geely is planning to offer services like Precise Point Positioning and Real-Time Kinematic (PPP-RTK) services.

What is Geely’s contribution to the satellite launch history?

Geely is a mass manufacturing factory which is established in Taizhou in March 2020. It has a previous launch history of launching and manufacturing about $326 million in satellite mass. The company is estimated to have a production capacity of more than 500 satellites per year, according to a report specified by the company.

Even the launch of nine navigation test satellites by a Long March 2C followed the signing of an agreement between Geespace and CGWIC of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) in September 2021.


There are many Chinese policy frameworks coming up to support new infrastructures such as the ‘satellite internet’. On the other hand, many other localities are waiting to attract high-end technology space firms. These localities have supported the emergence of thousands of companies in various areas such as satellite and downstream applications, launch applications, and many more. This ultimately led to the formation of a huge number of space industry clusters and many pilot zones in China.

The GeeSat-5 satellites are highly expected to have propulsion while they are on board. In May 2021, a notice was issued saying the orderly development of small satellites need to be promoted. It is because there is a belief that the small satellites that are present in orbits below 2000 kilometers should have collision avoidance maneuvers, as they are more prone to collisions.

The notice also ensures the lowering of the orbits after the mission ends. This ultimately helps to make sure that the orbits are deorbited for not more than a period of 25 years after the mission ends.

Leave a Comment