Rocket launch propels two satellites into orbit
China launched a Long March 2D carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China on Sunday afternoon, placing two satellites in orbit.
The rocket blasted off at 4:53 pm, sending up the Gaofen 9-02 optical remote-sensing satellite and the Head Aerospace 4, developed by a private space company in Beijing for traffic data collection, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.
The State-owned space giant said in a statement that the mission marked the 333rd flight of the Long March series.
Developed by the company's Aerospace Dongfanghong, the Gaofen 9-02 is to serve Earth observation purposes, such as land surveying, urban planning, agricultural forecasting and disaster prevention, the company said.
The Long March 2D, designed and built by the company's Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, is propelled by liquid propellants and has a liftoff thrust of 300 metric tons. It is capable of sending a 1.2-ton spacecraft to a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700 kilometers.