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China to launch civil survey satellite late this year
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Aug 10, 2011

The ZY Satellite Bus.

China will put into space a high-definition civil survey satellite, the first of its kind in the country, at the end of this year, said an official of the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation.

The satellite, ZY 3, will be launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north Shanxi Province on a Long March 4B carrier rocket, said Song Chaozhi, deputy director of the administration, at a press conference on Monday.

Once successfully launched, the satellite will operate in a sun-synchronous orbit at about 506 kilometers in altitude and be capable of producing seamless imagery of the earth's surface from 84 degrees south latitude to 84 degrees north latitude, according to a statement issued at the press conference.

The satellite will provide images with the highest definition and accuracy in China, the statement said.

The satellite will greatly help the mapping efforts in the country's western regions where geographic information is difficult to collect and update due to limits of equipment and technology, Song said.

Also on Monday, the administration announced that China has finished the surveying and mapping for the first 1:50,000 scale map in the country's western regions of about 2 million square kilometers.

The map will provide geographic information for the country's water conservancy, transportation, energy and telecommunication projects, the administration said in a statement.


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