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China launches the Gaofen-12-(02) satellite

China has successfully launched the Gaofen-12(02) satellite, to improve the country’s Earth observation abilities, reports SpaceNews.com

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) confirmed the launch a success an hour later. The release confirmed the Long March 4C rocket and the payload as Gaofen-12 (02).

According to the US satellite tracking, the Gaofen-12 (02) satellite was sent into 594 x 600 kilometer sun-synchronous orbit. The first Gaofen-12 was launched into a similar initial orbit in December 2019.

The Gaofen-12 (02) (‘high resolution 12-02’) satellite is nominally part of the civilian China High-resolution Earth Observation System (CHEOS).

As per Chinese media reports, the satellite will be used in land surveys, urban planning, road network design and crop yield estimation, as well as disaster relief.

The Gaofen-12 (02) satellite was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST), subordinate to CASC, China’s main space contractor. The mission patch includes an eagle with the Atlantic Ocean highlighted in a background map.

The Gaofen satellite launch was China’s eighth of 2021. CASC states that it plans to launch more than 40 times this year. Other state-owned and commercial companies are also planning launches.

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