China Launches Ziyuan-1 02E Satellite

Important Aspects

  • The satellite was launched with the goal of discovering new natural resources.
  • A smaller satellite was also launched, which will be used to teach geography at a Beijing school.
  • Both satellites launched from Shanxi’s Taiyuan Launch Center.
  • On board the Long March 4C rocket, Province.

Ziyuan-1 02E

A high-resolution infrared camera, a long-wavelength infrared camera, and a multi-spectrum imager have been installed aboard the Ziyuan-1 02E satellite. In Earth orbit, the satellite is expected to last for eight years. It was created with the goal of creating a high-resolution map of the Earth’s surface in order to investigate natural resources. Satellite data will be utilized to monitor water quality and notify for environmental calamities.

Smaller Satellite

The smaller satellite will be solely dedicated to geography and science classes at a Beijing high school.


The Earth observation satellite Ziyuan-1 02E is part of a series of Ziyuan-1 satellites. Its most recent version, Ziyuan III 03., was released in July 2021.

China’s missions in space

  • China has launched its 53rd spacecraft, the Ziyuan-1 02E satellite.
  • The launch broke the record of 39 launches in 2018 and 2020.
  • With this launch, China has already launched 104 satellites into orbit in just 2021.
  • China launched the Tianwen-1 mission in May 2021. It’s made up of an orbiter and a rover. It successfully landed on Mars’ surface, becoming China the third country to accomplish it.
  • China also sent the Tianhe module into Earth’s orbit, which was the main unit of Chinese space station Tiangong-3.

China’s Chang Zheng 4C rocket launched a new Earth resources observation satellite on Sunday. At 03:11 UTC, the Ziyuan-1 02E satellite and an amateur radio CubeSat launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (11:11 Beijing Time).

Ziyuan (ZY), which means Resource in Chinese, is a constellation of remote-sensing satellites that China utilizes to collect high-resolution images for surveying Earth resources, disaster management, and ecological and land-use monitoring.

In 1999, China and Brazil’s national space agency, INPE, launched the first Ziyuan satellite, Ziyuan-1 01, as part of a cooperation. Six of the nine Ziyuan spacecraft launched so far are part of the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) program, with the remaining three – notably Ziyuan-1 02E – being operated completely by China. Three more all-Chinese Ziyuan-3 spacecraft have also been launched, while Ziyuan-2 refers to a trio of military reconnaissance satellites launched in the early 2000s that are not related to the civilian Ziyuan series.

The Ziyuan-1 02E satellite is thought to be similar to the Ziyuan-1 02D spacecraft, which was launched in September 2019. It also has a new long-wave infrared camera, as well as the same two imaging payloads: a high-resolution visible and near-infrared camera and a hyperspectral imager.

When operating in panchromatic mode, the high-resolution camera will be able to capture photos with resolutions of up to five meters. It can produce images across three bands with a resolution of up to 10 meters when operating in multispectral mode. The hyperspectral payload has 166 spectral bands that it can image.

The Ziyuan-1 02D spacecraft weighed 1,840 kilograms during launch, with the Ziyuan-1 02E spacecraft weighing slightly more due to the installation of an infrared imager. It was launched on a Chang Zheng 4C carrier rocket rather than the Chang Zheng 4B that had previously been employed. This could indicate that the new satellite required the extra performance provided by the 4C configuration, while the change in rocket could also be due to availability, launch profile differences, or other considerations.

The visible NIR camera has a ground resolution of 5 meters and a 115-kilometer sweep width. The satellite will be in a sun-synchronous orbit of 778 kilometers, with a three-day revisiting cycle. The camera picture has high geometric precision and image placement accuracy of more than 50 meters compared to the other satellites orbiting; it also has a high spectral resolution and a lot of information.

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