China deploys the second Gaofen-12 Earth-imaging satellite

Last week China deployed a new satellite to increase the number of high-resolution camera satellites for federal authorities requiring Earth observation data. The satellite dubbed Gaofen-12 (02) departed the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 2245 GMT. The country utilized the Long March 4C rocket for this mission. CGTN Global Business released video footage illustrating the rocket depart from the spaceport.

The video also showcased the insulation tiles detaching from the rocket as it ascended to space. State media company Xinhua explained that the satellite would be helpful for urban planning, crop yield prediction, land surveys, and road network planning. The media reported that the satellite has lodged into its orbit and will start airing the images through the control centres.

SpaceNews stated that the satellite has docked in the 600 kilometres sun-synchronous orbit. The company is renowned for satellite tracking and added that it has adequate lighting for its observational demands. Additionally, the satellite has special components allowing its use in military operations. SpaceNews outlined that the country has also enumerated the resolution specifications and other details for the Gaofen type of satellites. However, the space agency has withheld the data for the advanced series of Gaofen satellites. The media provider assumed that the data is restricted because the satellites will be serving national defense operations. These activities require a high level of secrecy since the data can affect the stability of a country.

This satellite is filling the number of Gaofen satellites in the series, among them the radar and optical remote sensing satellite classified under the China High-resolution Earth Observation System (CHEOS). The first satellite in this series, Gaofen-1, deployed eight years ago, has high quality, panchromatic and multispectral imaging capabilities. The country has proved that it can deploy even doubles in the same series and has made milestones in its launch missions.

This mission is the eighth by China, with the others launching effectively without technical glitches. SpaceNews added that the country had set a target of over 40 missions heading to space and beyond this year. This number will surpass the previous record that China relayed in this industry last year. The country had to minimize the number of launches to accommodate the health regulations required to minimize the coronavirus pandemic’s spread. After identifying the vaccine, the reduced number of virus cases has stirred up the country’s space industry to start making plans.

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