China Launches Long March Rocket With Mapping Satellite

China Launches Long March Rocket With Mapping Satellite

China launched a Long March rocket on January 9 with a high-resolution civil mapping satellite to survey natural resources and a craft to relay marine tracking data for U.S.-based Orbcomm Inc. According to the state-run Xinhua news agency the Long March 4B launcher lifted off at 0317 GMT on January 9 from the Taiyuan space center in Shanxi province. The 15-story rocket and the Ziyuan 3 satellite achieved orbit about 12 minutes later. The rocket’s upper stage injected the craft into an orbit more than 300 miles high with an inclination of 97.5 degrees. Developed and built by the China Academy of Space Technology, the 5,842-pound satellite carries an electro-optical imaging payload comprising three pointing forward, down and aft.

The ground-facing camera has a resolution of 2.5 meters, or 8.2 feet. Ziyuan 3 also features an infrared spectrometer. Ziyuan 3 will aid in land resource surveys, natural disaster prevention, agriculture development, water management, and urban planning.

source: www.space.com