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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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China Launches World's Most Sophisticated Observation Satellite

China Launches HD Earth Observation Satellite

(Photo : Gettyimages) Gaofen-4's launch was the 19th space mission for China this year. SASTIND says it is designed to be used for preventing disasters and rescue and surveillance as well as weather forecast.

China closed the year 2015 by launching Gaofen-4, the most sophisticated observation satellite on Tuesday, as part of the country's high-definition (HD) planet observation project. The Gaofen-1, the pioneering satellite of the project, was launched in 2013.

The Chinese space agency State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) launched Gaofen-4 from the southwestern province of Sichuan in the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. It is the 222th flight of the Long March rocket series using Long March-3B carrier rocket.

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The Xichang Satellite Launch Centre also houses facilities such as the Launch Control Centre, propellant fuelling systems, telephone and data communications for users, communications systems for launch command, and support equipment for meteorological monitoring and forecasting.

SASTIND and China National Space Administration head Xu Dazhe describes Gaofen-4 as China's first HD optical imaging, geosynchronous orbit satellite, and the earth's most hi-tech HD remote sensing satellite.

Gaofen-4's launch was the 19th space mission for China this year. SASTIND says it is designed to be used for preventing disasters and rescue and surveillance as well as weather forecast.

Unlike the previous satellites Gaofen-1 and Gaofen-2 which are currently in low orbits (600-700km) around the earth, Gaofen-4 is situated at a distance of 36,000km away in orbit from the earth and moves synchronously with the planet. It has a powerful CMOS camera that can "see" an oil tanker on the sea, reaching the best imaging level among global high-orbit remote sensing satellites.

According to NASA, the satellite's main goal is to bring NRT (Near-Real-Time) monitoring for climate change, mapping geographical locations, surveying planetary resource, as well as accurate support for agriculture.

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