China launches HD earth observation satellite

Beijing, Dec 29 (IANS) China on Tuesday launched its most sophisticated observation satellite, Gaofen-4, as part of the country’s high-definition (HD) earth observation project, Xinhua reported.

Gaofen-4 was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan at 00:04 a.m. (local time) aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket.

It was the 222th flight of the Long March rocket series, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND).

Gaofen-4 is China’s first geosynchronous orbit HD optical imaging satellite and the world’s most sophisticated HD geosynchronous orbit remote sensing satellite, according to Xu Dazhe, head of SASTIND and China National Space Administration.

The successful launch of Gaofen-4 was the 19th space mission in this year. It will be used for disaster prevention and relief, surveillance of geological disasters and forest disasters, and meteorologic forecast, according to Tong Xudong, the chief designer of the Gaofen project with SASTIND.

Gaofen-1, the first satellite of the project, was launched in April 2013.

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