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IPFS News Link • Communications

CHINA LAUNCHES ITS TIANHUI-1C EARTH OBSERVATION SATELLITE

• TOMASZ NOWAKOWSKI

As is so often the case with Chinese launches, the mission got underway without any prior notice. The flight lasted approximately 10 minutes and the satellite was successfully put into a Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) of 303 by 308 miles (488 by 496 kilometers) at an inclination of some 97.35 degrees. Confirmation of the successful launch was provided by Chinese media about half an hour after liftoff.

Built by the Hangtian Dongfanghong Weixing Corporation and the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST), Tianhui-1C ("Sky Drawing") is an Earth observation satellite that will be used for scientific experiments, land resource surveys, mapping, crop yield estimation, and disaster relief.

The satellite is equipped with two deployable solar panels for energy generation that is stored on onboard batteries. It includes a three-dimensional survey camera and a CCD camera with a ground resolution of 5 meters (16.4 ft.), spectral region of 0.51μm to 0.69μm, and with a camera angle of 25 degrees. The spacecraft is also equipped with a multi-spectrum camera – with a ground resolution of 10 meters, and spectral region of 0.43μm to 0.52μm, 0.52μm to 0.61μm, 0.61μm to 0.69μm, and 0.76μm to 0.90μm. All the cameras aboard are able to produce an image of 60 kilometers (37 miles) wide.


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