Rocket launches ob­ser­va­tion satel­lite

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 4 China -

China launched a new Earth ob­ser­va­tion satel­lite, Gaofen-6, on Satur­day, mainly for use in agri­cul­tural re­search and dis­as­ter mon­i­tor­ing.

The Gaofen-6 was launched with a Long March-2D rocket at 12:13 pm from the Ji­uquan Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion. Luo­jia-1, a sci­en­tific satel­lite, was blasted into space on the same rocket.

It was the 276th mis­sion of the Long March rocket se­ries.

Weigh­ing 1,064 kilo­grams and with a de­signed life of eight years, Gaofen-6 has func­tions sim­i­lar to those of Gaofen-1, but with bet­ter cam­eras. Its high-res­o­lu­tion im­ages can cover a larger area, the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy and In­dus­try for Na­tional De­fense said.

Gaofen-6 can ob­serve chloro- phyll and other nu­tri­tional con­tent of crops, and help pre­dict yields of corn, rice, soy­beans, cotton, peanuts and other com­modi­ties, said Tong Xudong, chief en­gi­neer of the Gaofen satel­lite se­ries.

Its data will also be ap­plied in mon­i­tor­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters such as droughts and floods, eval­u­at­ing agri­cul­tural projects and sur­vey­ing for­est and wet­land re­sources, Tong said.

De­vel­oped by China Aero­space Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Cor­po­ra­tion, it will or­bit in a con­stel­la­tion ar­ray with other Gaofen satel­lites.

Since the Gaofen project be­gan in 2010, China has had an in­creas­ingly clearer view of the planet.

Gaofen-2, sent into space in Au­gust 2014, is ac­cu­rate to 0.8 me­ters in full color and can col­lect mul­ti­spec­tral im­ages of ob­jects greater than 3.2 me­ters in length.

Gaofen-4, launched in late 2015, is China’s first geosyn­chronous or­bit, high-def­i­ni­tion op­ti­cal imag­ing satel­lite.

Gaofen-3, launched in Au­gust 2016, is China’s first syn­thetic aper­ture, radar-imag­ing satel­lite.

Gaofen-5, launched in May, has im­proved spec­tral res­o­lu­tion.

The project has helped re­duce China’s de­pen­dence on for­eign re­mote-sens­ing satel­lite data.

WANG JIANGBO / XINHUA

The Gaofen-6 Earth ob­ser­va­tion satel­lite, atop a Long March-2D rocket, blasts off on Satur­day.

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