China launched a new high-resolution remote sensing satellite on Wednesday (April 6) to boost its ability to monitor ocean activity.
The Gaofen 3 (03) satellite lifted off atop a Long March 4C rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert at 7:47 EDT April 6 (2347 GMT; 7:47 a.m. local time on Thursday, April 7), with insulation tiles falling from the rocket as it climbed into the sky.
The satellite will produce 3.3-foot (1 meter) resolution radar images to assist marine disaster prevention and mitigation, dynamic marine environment monitoring, environmental protection and other activities, according to Chinese state media.
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The new satellite joins two earlier Gaofen 3 satellites in orbit, all circling roughly 469 miles (755 kilometers) above Earth in sun synchronous orbits.
The earlier pair were launched in 2016 and 2021, respectively, and will together form a network to allow more frequent passes over particular areas of the Earth.
The mission was China’s ninth of 2022, with the country planning more than 50 launches this year.
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