New Launch: 2012 January 9, 0317 UTC
Site: Taiyuan Space Center, PRC
Launcher: Long March 4B (Chang Zheng 4B)
International Designator(s): 2012-001A, 2012-001B
 
SSC Name Owner
38046 ZIYUAN 3 (ZY 3) PRC
38047 VESSELSAT 2 LUXE


"China launched a Long March rocket Monday with a high-resolution civil mapping satellite to survey natural resources and a craft to relay marine tracking data for U.S.-based Orbcomm Inc.

"The Long March 4B launcher lifted off at 0317 GMT Monday (10:17 p.m. EST Sunday) from the Taiyuan space center in Shanxi province, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

"It was 11:17 a.m. Beijing time.

"The 15-story rocket and the Ziyuan 3 satellite achieved orbit about 12 minutes later. The rocket's upper stage injected the craft into an orbit more than 300 miles [483 km] high with an inclination of 97.5 degrees.

"Developed and built by the China Academy of Space Technology, the 5,842-pound [2,650-kg] satellite carries an electro-optical imaging payload comprising three pointing forward, down and aft. The ground-facing camera has a resolution of 2.5 meters, or 8.2 feet.

"Ziyuan 3 also features an infrared spectrometer.

"The satellite is devoted to civil applications, according to Xinhua.

"The news agency said Ziyuan 3 will aid in land resource surveys, natural disaster prevention, agriculture development, water management, and urban planning.

"The rocket also orbited VesselSat 2, a 63-pound [29-kg] satellite designed to relay positions of ships around the world. Constructed by LuxSpace of Luxembourg, the spacecraft's services will supplement Orbcomm's next-generation communications satellites due to begin launching this year."

Source: Spaceflight Now, "Land surveying satellite orbited by Chinese rocket"

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