China sends two environmental monitoring satellites into space

Xinhua
China has successfully launched two environmental monitoring satellites from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province on Sunday.
Xinhua

China has successfully launched two environmental monitoring satellites from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province on Sunday.

A Long March-4B rocket carrying the HJ-2A and HJ-2B satellites took off at 11:23am (Beijing Time), according to the launch center.

They will replace the HJ-1A and HJ-1B, the previous generation of environmental monitoring satellites, to provide services concerning environmental protection, natural resources, water conservancy, agriculture and forestry, according to the satellite developer China Academy of Space Technology.

The HJ-2A and HJ-2B are 16-meter optical satellites with high mobility, precision control and stability, as well as strong load adaptability and long lifespans.

The satellites can provide 16-meter multispectral, 48-meter hyperspectral and infrared image data.

They will support the monitoring of natural disasters and land utilization, regulation and protection of water resources, dynamic monitoring of crop areas and assessment of yield, as well as quake emergency rescue.

The HJ-1A and HJ-1B were launched in 2008 and provided remote sensing data for disaster relief during the 2008 earthquake in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, the 2010 earthquake in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province and the 2010 mudslide in Zhouqu County, Gansu Province.

Sunday's launch was the 348th by the Long March rocket series. 

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