A Long March-11 rocket carrying an experimental satellite called "Wuhan" blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centerin northwest China at 7: 51 a.m. on Dec.22, marking China's first step towards building a low-orbit broadband communications network.

The satelite is the first satelite launched by the Hongyun project. This enterprise will eventually put 156 satellites into space to create a communications network that will provide broadband internet connectivity to users around the world.

The "Wuhan" satellite will be used to test the functionality of the Hongyun satelite design and low-orbit broadband communications technologies. Its developer plans to launch four more satellites by the end of 2020 to create a small test network. By the middle of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021- 2025), all of the156 satelites are expected to be in operation.

The satelite is named after Wuhan because its developer, a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC) Second Academy, was registered at the Wuhan National Space Industry Base in 2017.