China has successfully launched two remote sensing satellites for Pakistan, marking the first international commercial launch for the Long March-2C rocket in about 19 years.
The satellites — PRSS-1 and PakTES-1A — were launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China at 11:56 am.
The PRSS-1 is China’s first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan. It is the 17th satellite developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) for an overseas buyer, it said.
A scientific experiment satellite, PakTES-1A, developed by Pakistan, was sent into orbit via the same rocket. After entering orbit, the PRSS-1 is in good condition with its solar panels unfolded smoothly, according to the CAST. The PRSS-1 will be used for land and resources surveying, monitoring of natural disasters, agriculture research, urban construction and providing remote sensing information for the Belt and Road region. The satellite, which has a designed life of seven years, is equipped with two panchromatic/multispectral cameras, with a resolution up to a meter and a coverage range of 60 km. Designers say the two cameras are among the best exported remote sensing cameras made by China. They can be used to monitor plant diseases and pests.