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China launches remote sensing satellite

China has launched an earth resource satellite aboard a Long March IV carrier rocket from its Taiyuan Launching Center in northern Shanxi province Sunday, state press reported. The ZY-2 satellite has been placed in orbit following the launch which took place at 11:17 (03:17 GMT), Xinhua news agency said.

The satellite, the second of its type, will transmit remote sensing data and help in the exploration of geologic resources, environmental protection, urban planning and disaster prevention, the report said.

“This is a generous gift for the opening of the 16th Communist Party Congress,” Xinhua said, referring to a key meeting next month which is expected to usher in a generational change in China’s communist leadership.

The launching of the remote sensing satellite follows the September 2000 launch of the ZY-1, Xinhua said, and was the 68th successful launch of a Long March series rocket.