China launches Haiyang 1D satellite to monitor Earth’s oceans

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An ocean observation satellite soared into space from China’s Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the country’s north Shanxi Province on Thursday (June 11).

The Haiyang 1D (HY-1D) satellite — a name that means “ocean” in Chinese — rode to orbit aboard a Long March 2C rocket. Launch time was 2:31 a.m. Beijing time Thursday, June 11 (2:31 p.m. EDT or 1631 GMT Wednesday, June 10) and the satellite was put into space successfully, according to Chinese state news sources.

“The new satellite will form China’s first satellite constellation for marine civil service together with HY-1C, which was launched in September 2018, and double the current ocean observation data, according to CNSA [China National Space Administration] and the Ministry of Natural Resources,” state news provider Xinhua said in a report.

Video: China launches ocean observation satellite
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“The satellite constellation is expected to improve China’s capabilities in observing ocean color, coastal resources and ecological environment, and ramp up support for meteorology, agriculture, water conservation and transportation,” Xinhua added. Multiple news sources said the satellite would also help manage Chinese fisheries and track ships.

The satellite has a spatial resolution of 165 feet (50 meters) and will allow a more frequent revisit capability to certain locations after it is added into the constellation.

“Each satellite can see the globe twice a day for morning and evening. And for two satellites, it will be four times [for the whole day]. So the overall observation efficiency will be doubled,” said Bai Zhaoguang, director of science and technology commission with developer China Spacesat Co. Ltd, in state news source CCTV.

The launch was developed by Aerospace Dongfanghong Satellite Co., Ltd., affiliated with the Fifth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, according to a machine-translated report from Space China. This mission was the 334th launch of the Long March rocket series.

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