A secretive satellite was launched by China from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Saturday. Launch of the unknown spacecraft – unofficially claimed to be the Communications Engineering Test Satellite -1 (TXJSSY-1) – took place at 15:40 UTC using a Long March-3B (Chang Zheng-3B) rocket, as the Chinese continue their build up in space.
There is very little information regarding the satellite, with no announcement provided in the Chinese media, despite the media heavily controlled by the Chinese government.
However, rumors circling on specialized Chinese space forums point to this launch involving the first Great Wall (Changcheng) satellite – a new series of Chinese satellites dedicated to early warning similar to the American Space Based Infra-Red Sensor satellites. One unofficial source claimed the spacecraft is the Communications Engineering Test Satellite -1 (TXJSSY-1)
Recently, Japan’s Kyodo News reported that China was building a missile defense system to detect a ballistic missile attack. The report was based on Chinese military documents that referred the development of an experimental early warning satellite program.
Additionally the report pointed out that China had started the development of an X-band radar system as part of a ground-based interceptor system.