close
Sunday October 24, 2021

China launches earth-observation satellite in space

July 04, 2020

ISLAMABAD: China launched an earth-observation satellite into space from North China's Shanxi province on Friday.

The satellite can provide remote-sensing images and data for several public sector fields and businesses including natural resource surveying, disaster relief, agriculture, forestry, environmental protection and urban construction.

The satellite, which carries a domestically developed high-resolution multi-mode imager, was lifted atop a Long March 4B carrier rocket at 11:10am, according to the China National Space Administration.

An optical remote-sensing satellite in the Gaofen series, the spacecraft was designed and made by the China Academy of Space Technology under the state-owned contractor China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. It is expected to operate at least eight years in a sun-synchronous orbit.

Its imager is the country's highest-definition civilian camera, capable of taking clear pictures of a car's windows from an altitude of more than 600 kilometers, the academy said.

The imager can also identify growth conditions of different types of plants in a farmland, helping agricultural workers to better estimate yields. China launched the Gaofen programme in May 2010 and listed it as one of the 16 national important projects in science and technology. The programme aims at forming a space-based, high-resolution earth observation network by 2020.

By now, more than 10 Gaofen satellites have been launched and are in service. Images and data from the Gaofen satellites have been widely used in more than 20 industries across China and have helped reduce the country's dependence on foreign remote-sensing products, the administration said. In addition, a small satellite designed to promote knowledge about space science among teenagers was also launched in the mission. It will carry out scientific experiments such as image and voice data transmission. Friday's launch was the 337th for the Long March rocket series.