BEIJING: China on Friday successfully sent 13 satellites, including 10 from Argentina, into the orbit in what was stated to be the biggest launch of foreign satellites by the country that could fetch hundreds of millions of dollars to the communist nation.
The satellites, including 10 commercial remote sensing satellites developed by Argentinian company Satellogic, blasted off atop a Long March-6 carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in north China’s Shanxi Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
According to officials, Friday’s launch was the 351st by the Long March rocket series.
Last year the official media reports said that China plans to launch 90 earth observation satellites for Satellogic.
China has been using its space rockets to put satellites of several countries, including close ally, Pakistan.
Though financial terms of the deal with Argentina were not disclosed, Fu Zhiheng, vice-president of Great Wall, the international arm of State-owned space conglomerate China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, told state-run China Daily last year that the deal is at the level of hundreds of millions of US dollars.
That makes it one of the largest contracts China has obtained in the international space market in the past several years, he said.
It is also the first time that China will launch such a large number of satellites for a foreign client, Fu said, adding Great Wall will continue to promote the Long March 6 in the international market.