2 Jun 22

Geely launches nine satellites to low-orbit for autonomous vehicles

Geely launches nine satellites to low-orbit for autonomous vehicles

China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group conducted its first successful satellite launch as the first step to building its satellite network, which will provide accurate navigation for autonomous vehicles (AVs). 

The first nine GeeSAT-1 satellites were designed and manufactured by Geely and launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center. Geely plans to have 72 satellites in low orbit by 2025.

The first phase, dubbed "Geely Future Mobility Constellation", will consist of 240 satellites, while the second phase will include 168 satellites. 

Geely says the satellites will also have other commercial functions, including providing communication services at the Asian Games in September, besides guiding intelligent connected vehicles from orbit.

The company added that the satellites, carried to orbit by the government made Long March 2C rocket, will operate for five years and disintegrate in the atmosphere without leaving any space junk or debris behind. 

China started to allow private investment in forming satellite networks in 2014 and increased the support for developing an integrated network of satellites in the last five years. The satellite networks primarily serve for communications, remote sensing and navigation. 

The second automaker in space 

The launch of GeeSAT-1 satellites also marks the entrance of a second automaker into space. Tesla owned SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites, aiming to build a constellation of 42,000 satellites. 

Starlink satellites are being deployed to provide high-speed and low-latency internet access for rural areas. 

The illustration shows the GeeSAT-1 satellite, courtesy of Geely. 

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen