China successfully launches Earth observation satellite
A Chinese Long March 4B has delivered an Earth observation satellite into orbit, and did so using a first for the carrier rocket.
The launch took place in northern China from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, with the main payload for the mission being the Gaofen-7 high resolution satellite.
The satellite boasts the highest mapping accuracy that China has been capable of providing, with a margin of error of less than a metre.
It's the latest step from China in its efforts to build an all-weather, 24-hour global sensing system by next year, to measure the ground, atmosphere and oceans, with 14 Gaofen satellites currently in orbit.
As well as the Gaofen-7, the payload for the mission included two small satellites and a CubeSat.
Another interesting titbit for the launch was the use of a grid fin system for the Long March 4B, which constrains the area for where the carrier lands.
Using the grid fin system, China aims to continue working towards future retropropulsive landings and reusable launchers, with the intention to have fully reusable launch vehicles by 2035.
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