Space

Gaofen-12 Earth observation satellite launched by China

Gaofen-12 Earth observation satellite launched by China

On Tuesday, China launched the Gaofen-12 (02) satellite successfully. Amongst the various high-resolution satellites, the Gaofen-12 satellite helps to boost the Earth’s observation capabilities. From Jiuquan, a Long March 4C rocket lifted off. The airspace closure notices provided the 1st indication of the upcoming launch.

The CASC (China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.) confirmed in the release the success of the launch of the Long March 4C rocket.

Facts about the Gaofen-12 (02) satellite:

  • SAST (Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology) developed the Gaofen-12 (02) satellite
  • SAST is subordinate to CASC, China’s main space contractor
  • 594 x 600-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit
  • Launch of the first satellite with a similar initial orbit (December 2019)
  • Gaofen-11 are large (1.5-meter-diameter-plus)
  • The satellite (‘high resolution 12-02’) is nominally a part of CHEOS (China High-resolution Earth Observation System)

CHEOS introduced in 2010 to provide complete all-day weather updates with optical radar satellites. Capabilities of the resolutions are mentioned in publications for lower numbered Gaofen satellite series. The Gaofen satellite series numbered 8 and above are used for defense purposes making public information limited on the satellite series.

An article by the Chinese Society for Geodesy, Photogrammetry, and Cartography states mentions that the Gaofen-11 satellite holds the capability to return to the optical image at a 10-centimeter resolution. The interview-based article compares the satellite to the capacity and capability of the U.S. Keyhole classified reconnaissance satellite system.

Applications of the Gaofen-12 (02) satellite:

  • Satellites used in land surveys help in building a better infrastructure
  • Urban planning so that there is a significant development
  • Road network design helps in better navigation
  • Crop yield estimation in order to reap better produce
  • Disaster relief so that challenges and hurdles can be resolved efficiently
  • Others

The satellite launch by China on Tuesday (30th March 2021) is the 8th of the year. The CASC estimated the plan launch number to reach 40 times by end of 2021. Hence, this encourages other governments and private companies to plan their launch.

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