China launches satellite to monitor environment, land
China on Monday launched a satellite to monitor environmental problems, land use and crop yields, state media said.
The Yaogan-5 was launched on a Long March-4B carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in the northern province of Shanxi, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The satellite is designed to collect data for land resources surveys, environmental surveillance and protection, urban planning, crop yield estimates, disaster reduction and "space science experiments," the agency said.
It joins the Yaogan-4, which was put into orbit earlier this month, and three other Yaogan satellites launched from April 2006 to November 2007, reported dpa.
Monday's launch was the 114th of China's Long March series of rockets, the agency said.
It followed the launch of two satellites last month and two more in September to monitor the weather, the environment and natural disasters.
The government last year announced plans to develop a new range of heavy-duty Long March rockets for its space and commercial satellite programmes over the next three decades.
In 2003, China became the third country to launch a manned rocket into space after Russia and the United States.
Its third manned mission, launched in late September, carried out China's first spacewalk.