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China unveils land observation satellite launch plan

21 March 2006: China will launch 18 land observation satellites in the next ten years, China Center for Resources Satellite Data & Application (CRESDA) announced on March 17. According to CRESDA, the Sino-Brazil earth resource satellite 02B will be launched in 2007 and its data will be released for free. In addition, the overall development plan for satellite 03, 04 has been approved by the State Council. The 18 satellites made up of land resource and environmental series, together with the marine and meteorological ones, will help China build up an earth observation system for long- term stable operation. To make sure the full use of satellite data, CRESDA undertakes the task for building China’s land satellite system, which includes data processing, data and information collection, payload management, data simulation and analysis, data distribution and demonstration.