The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said the satellite successfully unfolded its solar panel in orbit after its launch atop a Long March-2D rocket from northwest China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
Developed by the China Academy of Space Technology, the satellite, dubbed Gaofen-1, will eventually be joined by another four of five before the end of 2016 to form a high-definition earth observation system, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Disaster relief work following the recent disastrous quake in Sichuan Province highlighted a lack of precise and timely data, despite the help of several remote sensing satellites and the Beidou GPS system, officials said, making better Earth observations of the type Goafen-1 and its companions will offer vital.
A fleet of high-resolution satellites would also improve land resources surveying, environmental monitoring, geographical mapping and precision agriculture, they said.
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