China successfully launches 2 environmental monitoring satellites
Updated 15:40, 27-Sep-2020

A Chinese Long March-4B carrier rocket carrying two environmental monitoring satellites was launched from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province at 11:23 a.m. Sunday.

The new HJ-2A and HJ-2B satellites will replace the previous generation of environmental monitoring satellites HJ-1A and HJ-1B, to provide services concerning environmental protection, natural resources, water conservancy, agriculture and forestry, according to the satellite developer China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). 

The HJ-2A and HJ-2B are 16-meter optical satellites with high mobility, precision control and stability, as well as strong load adaptability and long lifespans. 

The satellites can provide 16-meter multispectral, 48-meter hyperspectral and infrared image data. 

They will support the monitoring of natural disasters and land utilization, regulation and protection of water resources, dynamic monitoring of crop areas and assessment of yield, as well as quake emergency rescue. 

The HJ-1A and HJ-1B were launched in 2008 and provided remote sensing data for disaster relief during the 2008 earthquake in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, the 2010 earthquake in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province and the 2010 mudslide in Zhouqu County, Gansu Province. 

Sunday's launch was the 348th by the Long March rocket series.

(With input from Xinhua)