New Launch: 2011 December 22, 0326 UTC
Site: Taiyuan Space Center, PRC
Launcher: Long March 4B (Chang Zheng 4B)
International Designator(s): 2011-079A
 
SSC Name Owner
38038 ZIYUAN 1-02C (ZY-1-02C) PRC


"For the first time since the dawn of the space age, China's Long March rocket family eclipsed the annual flight rate of the U.S. fleet of space launchers Thursday with the successful deployment of a high-resolution mapping satellite.

"A Long March 4B booster lifted off at 0326 GMT Thursday (10:26 p.m. EST Wednesday) from the Taiyuan launching base in Shanxi province, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

"The 150-foot[45.7-m]-tall rocket released a Ziyuan remote sensing satellite into orbit 13 minutes later, according to the Chinese defense ministry.

"Chinese officials said the mission was flawless, marking the country's 18th successful space launch in 19 tries this year. The United States is 17-for-18 with flights of the space shuttle and the Atlas, Delta, Taurus and Minotaur rocket systems." "The Ziyuan 1-2C satellite launched Thursday is flying 478 miles [769 km] above Earth with an orbital inclination of about 98.5 degrees, the defense ministry said in a posting on its website.

"The 4,630-pound [2,100-kg] spacecraft was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and is the country's first high-resolution remote sensing satellite, according Xinhua." 'Ziyuan 1-2C carries black-and-white and color cameras to provide officials with imagery for land resource surveys, disaster relief services, agriculture development, forestry, water conservation, environmental monitoring, city planning and other applications, according to Xinhua and the Chinese defense ministry."

Source: Spaceflight Now, "Final Chinese launch tally surpasses U.S. rocket fleet"

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