JIUQUAN, NNC -- China launched a new Earth observation satellite Gaofen-6 on Saturday (6/2/2018) which will be used for research on agricultural resources and disaster monitoring.
The Gaofen-6 was launched with Long March-2D rockets at 12:13 am Beijing time from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China. A scientific experimental satellite named Luojia-1 was sent into space at the same time.
Weighing 1,064 kg and with age designed for eight years, Gaofen-6 has a similar function to the Gaofen-1 satellite, but with better cameras and its high resolution images can cover a large area of Earth, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, reported Xinhua.
According to Tong Xudong, chief satellite engineer, Gaofen-6 can observe chlorophyll and other plant nutrients and helps estimate crops such as corn, rice, soybeans, cotton and nuts.
"The data will also be applied in monitoring agricultural disasters such as droughts and floods, evaluation of agricultural projects as well as forest and wetland resource surveys," Tong said.
Developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, it will form a constellation with other Gaofen satellites in orbit.
Since the Gaofen project started in 2010, China has had an increasingly clear view of the planet. Launched in April 2013, Gaofen-1 can cover the world in just four days.
Gaofen-2, sent into space in August 2014, is accurate to 0.8 meters in full color and can collect multispectral images of objects longer than 3.2 meters.
Gaofen-4, launched in late 2015, is China's first geosynchronous high definition optical imaging satellite.
Meanwhile, Gaofen-3, launched in August 2016, is the first synthetic aperture radar imaging satellite in China.
Gaofen-5, launched in May 2018, has the highest spectral resolution of the Chinese remote sensing satellite. This project has helped reduce China's dependence on foreign remote sensing satellite data.