Banxing

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Banxing
Mission type Spacecraft imaging
Technology
Operator CASC
COSPAR ID 2008-047G
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass 40 kilograms (88 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 25 September 2008, 13:10 (2008-09-25UTC13:10Z) UTC
Rocket Chang Zheng 2F
Launch site Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-1
Deployed from Shenzhou 7
Deployment date 27 September 2008, 11:27 UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Inclination 42.4 degrees

Banxing or BX-1 (Chinese: 伴星; literally "Companion Satellite"),[1] is a small Chinese technology development satellite which was deployed from the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft at 11:27 GMT on 27 September 2008.[1] Prior to deployment, the satellite was mounted on top of the Shenzhou 7 orbital module.

Purpose[edit]

Banxing was used to relay images of the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft.[2] Weighing some 40 kilograms, and containing two cameras and communication equipment, it was maneuvered using an ammonia gas-based propulsion system.[3] Following the re-entry of Shenzhou 7, Banxing remained in orbit as part of a formation-flying experiment with the discarded Shenzhou orbital module.[4]

A few hours after Banxing was launched it and the Shenzhou 7 orbital module passed unusually close to the International Space Station. This provoked some speculation that the experiment was intended to test military anti-satellite interception technology.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dr. Jonathan McDowell (2008-10-12). "Issue 601". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  2. ^ Wade, Mark. "Shenzhou 7". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  3. ^ a b Fisher, JR, Richard D (2008-10-31). "China's Close Call". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 3 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  4. ^ Covault, Craig (2008-10-10). "Subsat Orbiting Empty Module". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2008-10-21.