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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. 

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. 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 Twitter.