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China launches two Shijian 9 satellites

(Global Times)

13:53, October 22, 2012

An overview image of Texas,US,taken by the Shijian 9-A satellite. Photo:China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application

China successfully launched its first civilian satellites at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province at 11:25 am on October 14.

Launched on a single Long March 2C carrier rocket, the Shijian 9-A and Shijian 9-B are the first Chinese civilian satellites put in orbit to conduct technological experimentation, according to the China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application.

Shijian 9-A has already collected images above the Midwestern US with its high-res multispectral camera and successfully downloaded the data on October 18, the center said.

The satellite can collect black and white images at 2.5-meter resolution or color images at 10-meter resolution from orbit, while the Shijian 9-B, with its long-wave infrared afocal lens, can take images at 73-meter resolution, according to the center.

The center said that the high-resolution images collected could be used for a variety of purposes, including surveying natural resources and agriculture, as well as collecting forestry and water resource data.

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