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