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China Launches 2 SuperView Earth-Observation Satellites Into Orbit

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A Long March 2D rocket successfully launched two new Earth-observing satellites into orbit this week for Beijing Space View Technology in China. 

The Long March 2D lifted off Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 0326 GMT (10:26 p.m. EST on Jan. 8) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in China's Shanzi province, where the local time was early Tuesday morning. The rocket delivered the two new SuperView-1 Earth-observing satellites, called SuperView-1 03 and 04, into orbit for Beijing Space View Technology. 

"Success! We're thrilled to announce the successful launch of SuperView-1 03&04 satellites at 11:26 this morning in Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center!" company representatives wrote in a Twitter update


The two new SuperView-1 satellites join two others in orbit that launched in 2016 . Those earlier satellites launched into a lower-than-planned orbit, but were later manuevered into their proper position, Chinese space officials have said. Eventually, BJSVT plans to oversee a large constellation of SuperView-1 satellites to provide high-resolution images of Earth. 

"The SuperView constellation, called "16+4+4+X", is projected to comprise of 16 optical satellites with 0.5m resolution, four higher resolution satellites, four synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites and a fleet of satellites with video and hyper spectral cameras," the China Great Wall Industry Corporation wrote in a statement wrote in a statement. "The entire constellation will be completed by the end of 2022."

Editor's Note: This story was updated to correct the launch day of the SuperView-1 03 and 04 satellites. It launched on Jan. 9 Beijing Time, not Jan. 10. 

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Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.