Mission typeShip tracking
OperatorLuxSpace (lessor)
Orbcomm (operator)
COSPAR ID2012-001B
SATCAT no.38047
Mission durationPlanned: 3 years
Achieved: 4 years
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass29 kilograms (64 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date9 January 2012, 03:17 (2012-01-09UTC03:17Z) UTC
RocketChang Zheng 4B Y26
Launch siteTaiyuan LC-9
End of mission
Last contactJanuary 2016 (2016-02)[1]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude472 kilometres (293 mi)
Apogee altitude484 kilometres (301 mi)
Inclination97.43 degrees
Period94.02 minutes
Epoch31 October 2013, 18:34:19 UTC[2]

VesselSat-2 (aka Orbcomm FM43, V2) was a Luxembourgian microsatellite built and owned by LuxSpace, and operated by Orbcomm under lease. It carried a receiver for Automatic Identification System signals, used to track ships at sea. VesselSat-2 was the second of two VesselSat spacecraft (see VesselSat-1), which were built by LuxSpace for Orbcomm, as replacements for the AIS capabilities of the failed Orbcomm-QL spacecraft.[1]

VesselSat-2 was launched as a secondary payload on a Long March 4B carrier rocket which was carrying Ziyuan 3. The launch occurred at 03:17 UTC on 9 January 2012,[3] from Launch Complex 9 at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre, and was the first orbital launch of the year.[4]


  1. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "VesselSat 1, 2, 3". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  2. ^ "VESSELSAT 2 Satellite details 2012-001B NORAD 38047". N2YO. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  3. ^ 中国成功发射首颗高精度立体测绘卫星"资源三号" (in Chinese). 9 January 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  4. ^ Barbosa, Rui C. (8 January 2012). "China opens 2012 with ZiYuan-3 launch via Long March 4B". Retrieved 9 January 2012.

External links