China launches Earth observation satellite Yunhai-1 03

China has sent a new Earth observation satellite into space.

The Long March 2D rocket carrying the Yunhai-1 03 satellite lifted off from the Jiuquan Space Center in the Gobi Desert on Tuesday (September 20) at 19:15 EDT (23:15 GMT; 7:15 local time on Wednesday, September 9) . 21).

Chinese state media said the satellite will be used (will open in a new tab) for “the detection of the atmospheric, marine and space environment, the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters, and scientific experiments.” Little is known about the spacecraft of the Yunhai-1 series.

Related: China National Space Administration Facts and Information

A Long March 2D rocket launches the Yunhai-1 03 Earth observation satellite from the Jiuquan Space Center in northwest China on September 20, 2022. (Image credit: CCTV)

Yunhai-1 03’s predecessor, Yunhai-1 02, launched in September 2019 and was apparently hit by space debris in March 2021. The cause of the collision was established in a small fragment of the body of the Russian Zenit-2 rocket.

Yonghai 1-02 appears to still be able to adjust its orbit despite the crash, which occurred at an altitude of 485 miles (780 kilometers), space debris expert Jonathan McDowell said in August 2021. (will open in a new tab).

McDowell also said (will open in a new tab) this incident was the first confirmed major orbital collision since February 2009. Then the Russian military spacecraft Kosmos-2251 collided with an active communications satellite known as Iridium-33, resulting in 1,800 traceable debris. (will open in a new tab) by next October.

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