China on Sunday morning launched a Long March-4C rocket to place a new land-observation satellite in space. The rocket blasted off at 7:44 a.m. (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China and soon sent the L-SAR 01B satellite into its preset orbit.
The satellite will be used to monitor Earth’s geological environment, landslides and earthquakes.
The mission marked the 408th flight of the Long March carrier rockets, according to the launch center.
China’s L-SAR 01 is a satellite group composed of two satellites equipped with L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), namely the L-SAR 01A and the L-SAR 01B. The former was sent into space on Jan. 26.
“SAR” refers to a microwave-imaging radar system that emits electromagnetic waves to Earth and receives echoes. It can take high-definition microwave pictures of the land surface.
The two satellites will be tasked with providing data to support land resource, mapping, forestry, and disaster prevention and relief uses. They will significantly strengthen rapid response capabilities in the event of a natural disaster, the China National Space Administration said in a statement.
Both the satellites and the rocket were built by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, a subsidiary of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.