China launches third Sino-Brazilian earth resources satellite 2007-09-19 15:48:37   Print

    TAIYUAN, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- China launched the third earth resources satellite co-developed with Brazil on Wednesday morning and the two nations will jointly develop two more satellites.

    The satellite, named 02B, was launched on a Chinese Long March-4B carrier rocket which blasted off at 11:26 a.m. (Beijing Time) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province.

    The satellite separated from the rocket 12 minutes after lift-off, entering its preset sun-synchronous orbit, at a perigee of 738 kilometers and an apogee of 750 kilometers.

    The 1,452-kilogram satellite with a designed lifespan of two years, will gather resources information and send images to China, Brazil and other countries, for use in agricultural production, environmental protection, city planning and land resources surveys.

    This is the third earth resources satellite jointly developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and the Brazilian National Space Research Institute (INPE). The previous two satellites were launched in 1999 and 2003 respectively.

    They are remote sensing satellites that can collect information through high definition cameras.

    The previous two Sino-Brazilian satellites, with 1,200 users in China and 3,000 users in Brazil, have produced more than 1 million images.

    Zhang Qingjun, chief designer of the satellite told Xinhua, "China and Brazil will cooperate to develop two more earth resources satellite.

    "At least one of the satellites will be launched in one to two years."

    "If everything goes smoothly, we can provide data to our users till 2015," he said.

    China and Brazil have cooperated in earth resources satellite development since 1988. The CAST is responsible for the satellite system concept, the development of the thermal control subsystem, orbit control subsystem and onboard data management.

    The INPE is responsible for the structural subsystem, power subsystem, and data collection subsystem.

    "We hope to continue to learn from each other and strengthen our cooperation in aeronautics," he said.

    Satellite 02B is the 38th satellite launched at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, all of which have been successful, including the first earth resources satellite co-developed by China and Brazil. This launch also marks the 102nd launch of a Long March carrier rocket.

Editor: Song Shutao
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