Saturday, December 27, 2014

China Launches Yaogan Weixing-26 Satellite

A Long March-4B rocket carrying the Yaogan-26 remote sensing satellite blasts off from the launch pad at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, Dec. 27, 2014. Credit: Xinhua/Yan Yan

China launched the Yaogan Weixing-26 remote sensing satellite into the preset orbit at 11:22 a.m. on Saturday Beijing Time from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province. Xinhua news agency reports that the satellite will mainly be used for scientific experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster prevention. As was the case in previous launches of the Yaogan Weixing series, Western analysts believe this class of satellites is used for military purposes.
As was the case with the former Soviet Union (and in a smaller scale with Russia) with the ‘Cosmos’ designation, the ‘Yaogan’ designation is used to hide the true military nature of the vehicles orbited.

Developed by the Chinese Academy of Spaceflight Technology and based on the Phoenix Eye-2 platform, the satellite is capable of high-resolution observation and also carries an IR payload.

The launch was carried by a Long March-4B rocket, marking the 202th mission for the Long March rocket family.

China launched the first satellite in the "Yaogan" series, Yaogan-1, in 2006.

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