China launches Gaofen-3-03 satellite on CZ-4C from Jiuquan launch site

(ORDO NEWS) — Thursday morning, China launched another Gaofen satellite into sun-synchronous orbit (SSO). The launch was carried out on a Chang Zheng 4C rocket from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The launch time has been confirmed to be 07:47 am local time on April 7 (02:47 UTC).

The target of today’s mission is a 738 x 745 km orbit with an inclination of 98.4°.

The Gaofen 3 satellites were designed and built by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). CAST is part of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), which is the main government contractor for the Chinese space program.

With the help of Gaofen satellites, China has created its own constellation of high-resolution Earth imaging satellites. It is part of China’s High-Definition Earth Observation System (CHEOS) and the continuation of the original High-Definition Earth Observation Satellite (HDEOS) program.

The original HDEOS program was fully funded in 2010 with the primary goal of launching six HDEOS satellites to improve disaster prevention, climate change and surface surveillance. There are also suspicions that the program was used for military purposes.

In 2010, the government also proposed and approved the CHEOS program, which includes the launch of more space systems capable of surveying the entire world.

The program is managed by the Earth Observation Systems Center – China National Space Administration (EOSDC-CNSA). It is also officially used for geographic and environmental mapping, including disaster prevention and disaster area monitoring.

This was the 414th flight of the Chang Zheng family rocket, as well as the ninth launch this year from China and the fourth launch of the CZ-4C in 2022. Earlier this year, the Yaogan 34-02 and L-SAR 01A and 01B were launched.

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