China launches Earth observation satellite

Updated: 2015-12-29 01:07

By Zhao Lei in Xichang, Sichuan province(

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China launched the Gaofen-4 Earth observation satellite early Tuesday morning to facilitate public services.

A Long March 3B rocket lifted the satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province at 12:04 am into the geosynchronous orbit that is nearly 36,000 km above the Earth. The mission marked the 222nd flight of the Long March rocket family.

The ground resolution for the satellite’s visible-light imager is 50 m and for the infrared sensor is 400 m. It has a designed lifespan of eight years, the longest in China’s remote sensing satellites, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

The administration said that images obtained by the spacecraft can be used in agriculture, forest monitor, disaster prevention, land and water resources management and oceanic survey.

China launched the Gaofen project in May 2010 and has listed it as one of the 16 national important projects in science and technology.

The first in the system, Gaofen-1, was sent into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia in April 2013. Another four Gaofen satellites were launched in 2014 and 2015.