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China sends two satellites into orbit
( 2003-10-21 13:53) (Xinhua)

China sent the second Earth resources satellite developed jointly by China and Brazil and another China-made small satellite into different preset orbits on Tuesday.

The satellite were raised by a Long March IV B carrier rocket which blast off at 11:16 a.m. (Beijing Time) at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province, north China.

According to data from the Xi'an Satellite Monitoring and Control Center, the Earth resources satellite entered the sun- synchronous orbit 13 minutes after the rocket lifted off.

The rocket went on flying for about 40 seconds and hurled a Chinese satellite into a fixed orbit smoothly. The satellite, known as Chuangxin I or Innovation I, was developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). It is the country's first satellite weighing less than 100 kg.

The second Resources No.1 satellite was designed to monitor Earth's land resources change, survey arable lands and grasslands, monitor natural and human disasters, offer information on aquatic farming and environmental pollution, and explore mineral resources.

The resources satellite, 1,550 kg in weight with a designed service life of two years, was developed by China Academy of Space Technology in cooperation with Brazilian National Institute for Space Research. The satellite is more reliable than the first one which was developed by the two countries and launched on Oct. 14 ,1999 at the same launch center. The previous one has outlived its planned two-year service term and is still operational in orbit.

The Xi'an Satellite Monitoring Center will monitor and test the new resources satellite in orbit for some time before its actual utilization right is delivered to its clients.

Leaders of China and Brazil have congratulated on the successful launch, saying the achievement will enrich the two countries' strategic partnership and promote mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation, according to sources with China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It was the 30th consecutive success of China's launching Long March rocket series since October 1996.

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