|Mission type||Spacecraft imaging
|Launch mass||40 kilograms (88 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||25 September 2008, 13:10UTC|
|Rocket||Chang Zheng 2F|
|Launch site||Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-1|
|Deployed from||Shenzhou 7|
|Deployment date||27 September 2008, 11:27 UTC|
Banxing or BX-1 (Chinese: 伴星; literally: "Companion Satellite"), is a small Chinese technology development satellite which was deployed from the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft at 11:27 GMT on 27 September 2008. Prior to deployment, the satellite was mounted on top of the Shenzhou 7 orbital module.
Banxing was used to relay images of the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft. Weighing some 40 kilograms, and containing two cameras and communication equipment, it was maneuvered using an ammonia gas-based propulsion system. Following the re-entry of Shenzhou 7, Banxing remained in orbit as part of a formation-flying experiment with the discarded Shenzhou orbital module.
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.
- Dr. Jonathan McDowell (2008-10-12). "Issue 601". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
- Wade, Mark. "Shenzhou 7". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- 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.
- Covault, Craig (2008-10-10). "Subsat Orbiting Empty Module". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
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