China Launches Earth-Observing Satellite on Long March 2D Rocket

A Chinese Long March 2D rocket launches a land survey satellite into orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert on Jan. 12, 2018.
A Chinese Long March 2D rocket launches a land survey satellite into orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert on Jan. 12, 2018. (Image credit: China Great Wall Industry Corporation)

A Chinese Long March 2D rocket launched a new Earth-watching satellite Saturday (Jan. 12), marking the country's third launch in four days. 

The Long March 2D booster launched from China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert at 3:10 p.m. Beijing Time (2:10 a.m. EST/0710 GMT), the state-run Xinhua news service reported.

The rocket carried the new Land Survey Satellite 3 into orbit, according to a translated statement from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (known as CASC). The satellite will be used for remote-sensing of land resources, according to that statement

Saturday's launch marked the third Chinese space mission in a week, and second Long March 2D launch in four days. A Long March 2D booster launched two SuperView-1 Earth-observation satellites into orbit  from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in China's Shanzi province on Jan. 9. On Friday (Jan. 12), a Long March 3B rocket launched two Beidou navigation satellites  from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwest Sichuan Province.

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Tariq Malik
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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. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award (opens in new tab) for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. 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. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast (opens in new tab) with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network (opens in new tab). To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik (opens in new tab).