Another launch for China
BY STEPHEN CLARK
Posted: May 25, 2007
China launched a new Earth observation satellite Friday to carry out a range of scientific research and surveying activities, according to state media reports.
The unannounced launch occurred at 0712 GMT (3:12 a.m. EDT), or mid-afternoon Beijing time. The secretive satellite was released into a Sun-synchronous orbit a few minutes later, according to the state-owned Xinhua news agency.
Called Yaogan 2, the satellite was launched atop a two-stage Long March 2B rocket from the Jiuquan launch base in northwest China.
China claims the craft will engage in scientific research, land surveying, agricultural crop monitoring and disaster forecasting.
A tiny spacecraft developed by a Chinese university was also flown into space to conduct micro-electronics research, according to Xinhua.
Yaogan 2 follows another remote sensing craft called Yaogan 1, which was launched last year. Chinese media reports indicate both satellites have similar objectives, but the earlier spacecraft flew into orbit on a larger rocket from a different launch site.
Friday's mission was the fifth successful space launch for China so far this year. It also marked the 19th launch to reach orbit in 2007 from locations worldwide.