China launches earth-observation satellite

China launches the Tianhui 1-04 satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China at noon on July 29. -

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN): China launched an Earth-observation satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the northwestern Gobi Desert on Thursday (July 29), according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

The State-owned space giant said the satellite, called Tianhui 1-04, was carried by a Long March 2D carrier rocket that blasted off at 12:01pm. This was the 381st launch by a Long March-series rocket.

Developed by Aerospace Dongfanghong, a subsidiary of the China Academy of Space Technology, the satellite will be used for scientific experiments, surveying land resources and land mapping.

The first satellite in the Tianhui 1 family, Tianhui 1-01, was launched in August 2010. As of now, all four satellites in the series have been deployed to orbit.

Developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, the Long March 2D has a liftoff weight of 300 metric tonnes and is capable of transporting multiple satellites to different orbits.

It has a carrying capacity of 1.2 tonnes to the typical sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude of 700 kilometres, which is often used by weather or remote-sensing satellites.

The CASC announced at the beginning of the year that it planned to carry out more than 40 launch missions this year.

The most important among them are those sending Chinese astronauts to build the nation's space station. - China Daily/Asia News Network

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