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China launches environmental monitoring satellites – Spaceflight Now

A Lengthy March 4B rocket lifts off Sunday with two Chinese language environmental monitoring satellites. Credit score: Xinhua

With none public warning, a Chinese language Lengthy March 4B rocket lifted off Sunday with two “environmental monitoring satellites” that the nation’s state media mentioned will exchange a pair of spacecraft launched in 2008 that collected information to help in a sequence of catastrophe aid efforts over the past decade.

The dual Huanjing environmental monitoring satellites took off at 0323 GMT Sunday (11:23 p.m. EDT Saturday) from the Taiyuan launch base in Shanxi province in northern China, in keeping with the government-run Xinhua information company.

A 3-stage, liquid-fueled Lengthy March 4B rocket carried the Huanjing 2A and 2B satellites into area. U.S. army monitoring information indicated the 2 spacecraft reached an orbit ranging between 371 miles (600 kilometers) and 404 miles (651 kilometers) above Earth, with an inclination of 98 levels to the equator.

Xinhua mentioned the launch was profitable.

Chinese language authorities didn’t publicize the launch prematurely, and issued no warning notices for pilots to maintain away from downrange drop zones for the Lengthy March 4B rocket’s decrease phases and payload fairing.

The Huanjing 2A and 2B satellites exchange China’s Huanjing 1A and 1B spacecraft that launched in 2008, officers mentioned. The satellites “present providers regarding environmental safety, pure assets, water conservancy, agriculture and forestry,” Xinhua mentioned.

Huanjing means “atmosphere” in Chinese language.

The satellites launched Sunday carry optical imagers to offer medium-resolution coloration photos. The satellites will even accumulate infrared and hyperspectral photos, which include info to assist analysts distinguish between various kinds of options on Earth, akin to vegetation, human-made infrastructure, and water high quality.

Xinhua mentioned the Huanjing 1A and 1B satellites collected distant sensing information to help catastrophe response efforts in China, together with main earthquakes and mudslides in 2008 and 2010.

The profitable launch Sunday marked the 29th orbital launch try by China to date this 12 months.

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Observe Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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