Encyclopedia Astronautica
SJ-6


Chinese military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Operational, first launch 2004.09.08.

Under cover of the SJ (Shijian) Chinese scientific research series, the government began launching pairs of satellites in 2006 that were believed to have a military ELINT mission.

The satellites were placed in sun-synchronous orbits at 600 km altitude. The second was separated about a minute after the first. The second pair was launched two years after the first. Chinese ELINT systems had been tested on earlier flights of the manned Shenzhou spacecraft's orbital module.

AKA: Shi Jian 6.
Gross mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb).
First Launch: 2004.09.08.
Last Launch: 2010.10.06.
Number: 8 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • CZ China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • CZ Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...
  • CZ-4B Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-4B introduced in 1999 was an improved model of the CZ-4B with an enhanced third stage and fairing. It measured 44.1 metres in length with a first stage thrust of 300 tonnes. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CAST Chinese manufacturer of spacecraft. China Academy of Space Technology, Beijing, China. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Taiyuan China's launch site for launch of polar orbiting satellites, also known as Wuzhai. Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) is situated in Kelan County, the northwest part of Shanxi Province, 280 km by road from Taiyuan City. More...

SJ-6 Chronology


2004 September 8 - . 23:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-7 (79).
  • SJ-6A - . Payload: Shi Jian 6B. Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 28413 . COSPAR: 2004-035A. Apogee: 593 km (368 mi). Perigee: 578 km (359 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.40 min. It was announced that the two satellites had a design life of at least two years, and would be used to probe the space environment, radiation and its effects, record space physical environment parameters, and conduct other related space experiments. The two satellites were built by the Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology and Dongfanghong Satellite Company under subcontract to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The scientific instruments aboard the satellites were mainly manufactured by the China Electronics Technology Corporation. Some Western observors believed the mission of the satellites included electronic intelligence technology tests.
  • SJ-6B - . Payload: Shi Jian 6A. Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 28414 . COSPAR: 2004-035B. Apogee: 602 km (374 mi). Perigee: 593 km (368 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. Summary: CAST968 platform. Released one minute after SJ-6A..

2006 October 23 - . 23:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-10 (92).
  • SJ-6-2A SJ-6C - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 29505 . COSPAR: 2006-046A. Apogee: 598 km (371 mi). Perigee: 594 km (369 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. Summary: Replaced the SJ-6 Group 1 satellites A and B. Official purpose was to measure the space environment, but foreign analysts suspected a SIGINT role..
  • SJ-6-2B SJ-6D - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 29506 . COSPAR: 2006-046B. Apogee: 599 km (372 mi). Perigee: 598 km (371 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.70 min.

2008 October 25 - . 01:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B.
  • SJ-6-03A - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 33408 . COSPAR: 2008-053A. Apogee: 603 km (374 mi). Perigee: 584 km (362 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.50 min. Summary: Third pair in China's SJ military surveillance constellation. It has been suggested that each pair consists of two differing satellites, a smaller minisatellite built by SAST Shanghai and a larger 300-kg CAST-968 bus satellite from DFH..
  • SJ-6-03B - . Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 33409 . COSPAR: 2008-053B. Apogee: 605 km (375 mi). Perigee: 582 km (361 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.50 min.

2010 October 6 - . 00:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B.
  • SJ-6G - . Payload: SJ-6/4A. Mass: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 37179 . COSPAR: 2010-051A. Apogee: 606 km (376 mi). Perigee: 587 km (364 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min. Summary: Fourth pair of SJ-6 military surveillance satellites..
  • SJ-6H - . Payload: SJ-6/4B. Mass: 200 kg (440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SJ-6. USAF Sat Cat: 37180 . COSPAR: 2010-051B. Apogee: 604 km (375 mi). Perigee: 588 km (365 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.60 min.

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