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China launches environment-monitoring satellite, Huanjing-1C

Beijing, Nov 20 (): On Monday, China has launched an environmental monitoring satellite Huanjing-1C, (meaning ‘environment’ in English), third in the row of “Environment I” satellites into space.

This satellite was mounted on the back of a Long March-2C carrier rocket and lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China’s Shanxi Province and at 2253 GMT (5:53 p.m. EST, 6:53 a.m. Beijing time.

This radar satellite monitoring the environment will join two other previously launched operating optical satellites Huanjing-1A, and Huanjing-1B, belonging to the “Environment I” satellites. The previous two satellites were launched in September 2008, to form a network covering most of China’s territory and the third one will sharpen its abilities in disaster forecasting and environmental monitoring.

Technologically, Huanjing-1C is superior to the other two previously launched satellites. This satellite is fitted with a synthetic aperture radar instrument designed to peer through the clouds and capture images of the Earth’s surface day-and-night in all-weather conditions. It will also monitor most parts of China on daily basis, keeping an eye out for drought, typhoons, landslides and flooding.

Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in North China said the launch marks the conclusion of a huge plan initiated in 2003 by China to create small environmental monitoring satellite constellation.

The centre said this “2+1″ formula will be of great help in providing the scientific evidences for measuring the natural disaster circumstances, emergency aid and also reconstruction. It would facilitate China to forecast and monitor ecological changes, natural disasters and pollution around the clock.

Long March 2C rocket, the rocket which was used to carry the satellite has also carried two other additional satellites designed to run tests and carry out in-orbit experiments for new-type aerospace equipment, materials, methods and miniature satellite platforms. This launch marks China’s 16th space launch of 2012.

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