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China launches remote sensing satellite
Posted: Tue, Jan 10, 2012, 8:20 AM ET (1320 GMT)
Long March 4B launch of Ziyuan 3 (Xinhua) A Long March rocket placed a Chinese remote sensing satellite into orbit Monday for the first launch of 2012. The Long March 4B rocket lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center at 10:17 pm EST Sunday (0317 GMT, 11:17 am Beijing time Monday) and placed the Ziyuan 3 satellite into a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit. The satellite, weighing 2,650 kilograms, will provide high-resolution images for civilian applications, according to Chinese reports. The rocket also carried as a secondary payload the VesselSat2 satellite, a 63-kilogram spacecraft built by Luxembourg company LuxSpace. The satellite will be used by American company ORBCOMM to augment its network of satellites that relay signals for the Automatic Identification Service ship-tracking system.
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