China launches mapping satellite

Aug. 24, 2010 at 8:01 PM

BEIJING, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- China launched an Earth mapping satellite into polar orbit Tuesday, official Chinese media outlets said.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said the Tianhui 1 satellite entered orbit more than 300 miles above Earth after launch atop a Long March 2D booster, SPACE.com reported.

The launch of the 13-story booster took place at the Jiuquan space facility near the border of northern China's Inner Mongolia and Gansu provinces.

Chinese Ministry of Defense authorities said Tianhui 1 would be used for scientific research, mapping and land resource surveys to help promote economic development.

Tuesday's mission was the seventh Chinese space launch of the year and the 40th rocket overall in the world to reach orbit in 2010, SPACE.com said.

It was the 13th mission for a Long March 2D rocket since 1992.

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