China launched a geosynchronous high-resolution Earth observation satellite, Gaofen-4, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan at 00:04 a.m. (local time) aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket.
The satellite will provide images and data for weather forecasting, forest monitoring, disaster recovery and other missions.
Gaofen-4 is China’s first geosynchronous orbit HD optical imaging satellite and the world’s most sophisticated HD geosynchronous orbit remote sensing satellite, according to Xu Dazhe, head of SASTIND and China National Space Administration.
“The Gaofen-4 is able to cover China and the whole Southeast Asia and can shift among multiple targets in a short period of time. It is capable of monitoring a designated area round-the-clock while sending back images in almost real-time,” says Tong Xudong, a senior official at the administration who oversees the Gaofen program.