China's first AI commercial satellite in the world: What do we know about it?

Source: Sputniknews 5.2.2024


Beijing carried out a series of successful space launches this week that resulted in the delivery of several satellites into Earth’s orbit.


A Smart Dragon 3 carrier rocket lifted off from a launch facility off the coast of China’s Guangdong province on February 3.


The rocket successfully completed its mission by delivering nine satellites to their intended orbits, with one of these satellites, Xingshidai-18, being touted by Chinese media as the first in-orbit artificial intelligence (AI) commercial satellite in the world.


What is Known About Xingshidai-18?


Xingshidai-18, also referred to as Rongpiao, is an integrated sensing network satellite made by Guoxing Aerospace Technology Co., Ltd., a company based in the city of Chengdu in China’s Sichuan Province.


According to CGTN, Xingshidai-18 is outfitted with a “sixth generation ‘satellite brain’ system” developed by the satellite’s maker and is designed to perform “verification of the synaesthesia fusion AI algorithm” upon reaching orbit.


The media outlet also points out that Xingshidai-18 also features a “remote integrated platform capability for future communication networks.”


What is the Smart Dragon 3 Carrier Rocket?


Smart Dragon 3 (Jielong 3) is a solid propellant carrier rocket developed by China. It is 31 meters long, 2.65 meters wide and weighs 145 metric tons.


The rocket, whose maiden flight took place in 2022, is capable of delivering up to 1,500 kilograms worth of payload – such as satellites - into Earth’s orbit.


What Other Satellites Has China Launched Recently?


Also on February 3, a Long March 2C carrier rocket blasted off from the Xichang space launch site in China carrying 11 Geely-02 constellation satellites. The launch was carried out successfully and the satellites reached orbit as intended.


The satellites are designed to provide “integrated communication, navigation and remote sensing technologies” to users in the world, as Chinese media put it, and to provide positioning support for self-driving cars.

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