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JIUQUAN: On Monday, July 9, 2018, China launched two satellites for Pakistan on a Long March-2C rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, reportedly to monitor billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
According to XinHua, the PRSS-1 is China’s first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan and the 17th satellite developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) for an overseas buyer.
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.
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. It was earlier reported that the satellites were being launched to monitor the development of the $ 50 billion CPEC projects, the agency 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 CAST.
Monday’s launch is the 279th mission of the Long March rocket series.
It is another space cooperation between China and Pakistan since the launch of PAKSAT-1R, a communication satellite, in August 2011.
It is also the first international commercial launch for a Long March-2C rocket within nearly two decades after it carried Motorola’s Iridium satellites into orbit in 1999.
Long March-2C rockets are mainly used to send satellites into low Earth or Sun-synchronous orbits.
Earlier, China had also launched Pakistan’s communication satellite PAKSAT-1R back in 2011.
China and Pakistan had signed an agreement in 2016 for the launch of a special remote sensing satellite this year in 2018.
In April 2016, the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and the China Great Wall Industry Cooperation (CGWIC) signed an agreement for the development and launch of the ‘Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) System’.