8 June 2006: China’s satellite “Beijing-1”, launched from Russia in October 2005, started providing a wide range of remote sensing services since June 8. The satellite, weighing 166.4 kilograms, is in an orbit 686 kilometers above Earth, said sources with the Ministry of Science and Technology.
It will be used to survey land resources, for geological research and water resources research, and to monitor floods and winter wheat, and used by urban planners and archaeologists. Government departments will also use the satellite during emergencies to aid decision-making of the central government. Research institutes, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations will also benefit from the service provided by the satellite in their research programs.