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China launches Ziyuan III satellite
SOURCE: Xinhua     UPDATED: 2012-01-10

TAIYUAN, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- China successfully launched the Ziyuan III satellite Monday from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi province.

The satellite, a high-resolution remote-sensing satellite for civilian use, was launched at 11:17 a.m. aboard a Long March 4B rocket, according to a statement from the center.

The satellite, weighing 2650 kg, entered an orbit of 500 km above the Earth about 12 minutes after it was launched. It has a designed life expectancy of five years.

According to the center, the satellite is tasked with offering services to aid the country's land resources surveys, natural disaster prevention, agriculture development, water resources management, and urban planning.

The rocket also carried a satellite from Luxemburg, according to the launch center.

The orbiter was developed and produced by the China Academy of Space Technology, a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The Long March 4B rocket is developed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, another CASC subsidiary. Monday's mission marked the 156th flight of China's Long March series of carrier rockets.