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Environmental Satellite Produces First Photo of Earth
SOURCE: Xinhua     UPDATED: 2012-12-12

BEIJING, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's first synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite for environmental monitoring has produced its first "clear, coherent and informative" image of Earth, authorities said Monday.

The satellite, which was launched on Nov. 19, on Sunday successfully produced an SAR image of the city of Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan province, said a statement from the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

The image was then sent to a station located at the Academy of Sciences' Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth in Beijing, the statement said.

"Compared with optical imaging satellites, the SAR environmental monitoring satellite has greatly enhanced the efficiency and overall ability of the country's Earth observation satellites," it said.

The launch of the satellite marked the completion of a plan initiated by China in 2003 to create a group of environmental monitoring satellites, according to north China's Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, where the satellite was launched.

The radar satellite joined two optical satellites launched in September 2008, forming a network that covers most of China's territory.

This satellites will help provide scientific evidence for assessing natural disasters, emergency aid and reconstruction, as well as enable China to monitor and forecast ecological changes, pollution and natural disasters around the clock, the center said.