HELSINKI — China efficiently launched the Gaofen-12 (02) satellite tv for pc Tuesday, marking newest in a line of excessive decision satellites to spice up the nation’s Earth statement capabilities.
A Lengthy March 4C rocket lifted off from Jiuquan, northwest China at 6:45 p.m. Japanese Tuesday.
The primary indication of the upcoming launch got here from airspace closure notices, with the kind of rocket and mission payload unknown.
The China Aerospace Science and Know-how Corp. (CASC) introduced launch success inside an hour later (Chinese). The discharge confirmed the Lengthy March 4C rocket and the payload as Gaofen-12 (02).
The Gaofen-12 (02) satellite tv for pc was despatched into 594 x 600 kilometer sun-synchronous orbit, in line with U.S. satellite tv for pc monitoring. The primary Gaofen-12 was launched into an analogous preliminary orbit in December 2019.
The Gaofen-12 (02) (‘excessive decision 12-02’) satellite tv for pc is nominally a part of the civilian China Excessive-resolution Earth Remark System (CHEOS). Chinese language media state studies that the satellite tv for pc shall be utilized in land surveys, city planning, highway community design and crop yield estimation, in addition to catastrophe aid.
The Gaofen-12 (02) satellite tv for pc was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Know-how (SAST), subordinate to CASC, China’s primary house contractor. The mission patch contains an eagle with the Atlantic ocean highlighted in a background map.
CHEOS was initiated in 2010 to supply all-weather, all-day protection with optical and artificial aperture radar satellites.
Decision capabilities and different data has been printed for decrease numbered Gaofen collection satellites. Nonetheless data for Gaofen satellites numbered eight and above has not been overtly launched, suggesting the satellites are for nationwide protection functions.
Renders of the satellite tv for pc in orbit on mission control screens proven on state tv recommend that satellites resembling Gaofen-11 are giant (1.5-meter-diameter-plus) aperture optical distant sensing satellites.
An article printed by the Chinese language Society for Geodesy, Photogrammetry and Cartography (Chinese) states that Gaofen-11 has the potential to return optical imagery at a decision of round 10 centimeters. The interview-based article claims that that is similar to the believed capabilities of the U.S. Keyhole labeled reconnaissance satellite tv for pc system.
The Gaofen satellite tv for pc launch Tuesday was China’s eighth of 2021. CASC states that it plans to launch greater than 40 occasions this 12 months. Different state-owned and business corporations are additionally planning launches.