China has successfully launched its second Land Surveying Satellite LKW-2 (also known as Yaogan Weixing-32) into a preset orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert.
The satellite will be used for remote sensing exploration of land resources. It was launched on board of Long March-2D rocket. It was 259th mission of the Long March rocket series.
The LKW-2 has been developed by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). It is probably an electro-optical observation satellite based on the military Jianbing-6 series. Western experts believe that the satellite will be utilized for military purposes apart from remote sensing exploration of land resources. The first Yaogan satellite was launched in 2006, whereas the second generation of the series was inaugurated in 2008.
Long March 2D
Long March 2D is a two-stage rocket developed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. It is mainly used to launch variety of satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO) at an altitude of approximately 500 kilometers. The 41.15-meter long rocket can launch payloads of up to 3.9 tons to LEO and has Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) capability of up to 1.4 tons. The rocket was launched for the first time in August 1992.