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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

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, 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.