China launches environmental satellite in 3rd flight in 6 days

China sent its third rocket aloft in a week on Wednesday (Oct. 12), this time to launch a satellite intended for environmental monitoring.

A radar satellite known as S-SAR01, nicknamed Huanjing-2E, flew to space atop a Long March 2C rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi province, according to Chinese state media. Liftoff happened at 6:53 p.m. EDT (2253 GMT Wednesday, or 6:53 a.m. local time on Thursday, Oct. 13).

The satellite's 60-foot (5-meter) resolution will primarily be used for disaster relief and environmental protection, according to Xinhua (opens in new tab). Other uses will include examining resources in water, natural resources, agriculture and forestry.

The launch was China's 45th of 2022. Last year was its busiest launch effort to date, with 55 launches performed.

Related: China launches 4 satellites with 2 rockets in 2 days

China sent the Huanjing-2E or S-SAR01 environmental monitoring satellite to space on Oct. 12, 2022. (Image credit: CCTV)

"The launch mission was a complete success," the China National Space Administration or CNSA wrote on its website (opens in new tab), adding that the main users will be China's Ministry of Emergency Management and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. (Translation to English was provided by Google.) 

The satellite adds on to Huanjing-2A and 2B, which were two medium-resolution satellites launched in 2020 to replace a previous generation lofted into space in 2008.

The launch was the 443rd overall in the Long March series and the third from China in the last week alone. China's Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory, nicknamed Kuafu-1, lifted off atop a Long March 2D rocket on Saturday (Oct. 8) to study solar weather. China's space agency also lofted a pair of navigation enhancement satellites from a sea platform Friday (Oct. 7).

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes an exclusive with Office of the Vice-President of the United States, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and (soon) a Bachelor of History from Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace