[Via Satellite 12-30-2015] China has launched its most sophisticated observation satellite, Gaofen 4, as part of the country’s High-Definition (HD) Earth observation project, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua. The satellite launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan 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, according to Xu Dazhe, head of SASTIND and China National Space Administration. The satellite will be used for disaster prevention and relief, surveillance of geological disasters and forest disasters, and meteorological forecast, according to Tong Xudong, the chief designer of the Gaofen project with SASTIND. The Gaofen project aims to launch seven HD observation satellites before 2020.
Gaofen 1, the first satellite of the project, was launched in April 2013. Different from Gaofen 1 and Gaofen 2 in low orbits (600-700 km) around the Earth, Gaofen 4 is located at 36,000 kilometers away from the Earth and moves synchronously with the Earth.
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