JIUQUAN, Gansu, Nov. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- China on Monday launched a recoverable
science experimental satellite into a preset orbit, atop a Long March 2 D
carrier rocket from a launch center in northwest China.
Space officials said the China-made satellite was
launched at 3:20 p.m. from a newly-built launch tower at Jiuquan Satellite
Launch Center in Gansu Province, northwest China.
The officials said the satellite would remain in
orbit for 18 days before returning to Earth.
Reports from Xi'an Satellite Monitor and Control
Center say the satellite is orbiting as scheduled and its instruments are
It is the 18th recoverable satellite developed by
China, and is technically much more advanced than the previous ones in terms of
The satellite is mainly for scientific research, land
surveying,mapping and other scientific experiments, said space experts.
The data China gathered from the satellite will help
promote the country's scientific and technological, economic and social
With a lift-off mass of 251 tons, the launch vehicle,
40.6 meters in length, was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology
with China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.
The launch is the 73rd by the country's Long March
carrier rockets since 1970, and the 31st consecutive successful launch since
Space experts said the success rate of Long March
rockets was 91 percent.
Monday's launch came less than a month after China's
first manned space flight on Oct. 15 and 16, and the Oct. 21 launch of an earth
resources satellite developed in cooperation with Brazil and a smaller
Space experts said the number of launches in such
short period is unprecedented in the country's history, indicating the country's
progress in launch capability and development of launch vehicle and spacecraft.