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China used the FB-1 booster to launched the 1,100 kilogram JSSW (Ji Shu Shiyan Weixing or "Technical Test Satellite") series, the precise mission of which remains somewhat obscure. Three failures resulted from the total of six launch attempts between September 1973 and November 1976, with two successful missions probably placing radio-downlink imagery intelligence spacecraft into orbit. The final successful launch in this puzzling series, the JSSW-3 flight of August 30, 1976, placed its payload into an eliptical orbit with a perigee of some 190 km, but with an apogee of over 2,100 km (versus the average 400 km apogee of the other two successful missions). This much higher apogee in one piece in the puzzle that propted speculation that the JSSW-3 mission carried an electronic intelligence payload.

Because of the association of the JSSW series with the FB-1 booster, it is reasonable to believe that the JSSW spacecraft were the product of the same Shanghai Bureau that produced this launch vehicle, and that the JSSW satellite program may have shared both the technical and political woes of the FB-1 and the Shanghia Bureau.

Alternate Names

  • 08053
  • China 3
  • JSSW-1
  • Mao 3
  • PRC3

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1975-07-26
Launch Vehicle: FB-1
Launch Site: Jiuquan, Peoples Republic of China
Mass: 1107 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (Peoples Republic of China)


  • Surveillance and Other Military

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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