JIUQUAN, Feb. 2 (China Space News) -- China on Friday launched its first seismo-electromagnetic satellite to study seismic precursors, which might help establish a ground-space earthquake monitoring and forecasting network in the future.
A Long March-2D rocket launched at 15:51 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in northwest China's Gobi Desert, carried the 730-kilogram China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES) into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 500 kilometers.
Known as Zhangheng 1 in Chinese, it will help scientists monitor the electromagnetic field, ionospheric plasma and high-energy particles for an expected mission life of five years.
The satellite is named after Zhang Heng, a renowned scholar of the East Han Dynasty (25-220), who pioneered earthquake studies by inventing the first ever seismoscope in the year 132.
Covering the latitude area between 65 degrees north and 65 degrees south, it will focus on Chinese mainland, areas within 1,000 kilometers to China's land borders and two major global earthquake belts.
Zhangheng 1 was produced by DFH Satellite Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).