The science experimental satellite China put into orbit on Nov. 3 returned to earth and landed in Sichuan Province, southwest China, at 10:04 am (Beijing time) on Friday.
The satellite began its reentry after it was ordered to "maneuver for returning" by a control station of the Xi'an Satellite Monitor and Control Center at 9:42 (Beijing Time).
Experts with the recovery team said the reentry module of the satellite was found to be in good shape after landing on earth.
The satellite responded to more than 1,000 remote instructions from the center while in orbit.
The experts said the satellite is the 18th recoverable satellite China has developed, and is technically much more advanced than the previous ones in terms of performance.
All of the satellites but one have been recovered, a high recovery rate by international standards.
The successful recovery of the satellite demonstrates China's technology in controlling maneuvers and positions of satellites in orbits, heat resistance, satellite tracking and recovery, said the experts.
The China-made satellite was launched from a newly-built launch tower at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu Province, northwest China.
The satellite is mainly for scientific research, land surveying, mapping and other scientific experiments, said the experts.
The data China gathered will help promote the country's scientific and technological, economic and social developments.
With a lift-off mass of 251 tons, the launch vehicle, 40.6 meters in length, was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.
The launch is the 73rd by the country's Long March carrier rockets since 1970, and the 31st consecutive successful launch since October 1996.
The Nov. 3 launch came less than a month after China's first manned space flight on Oct. 15-16 and the launch of an earth resources satellite developed in cooperation with Brazil and a smaller satellite on Oct. 21.
On Nov. 15, China rocketed a communications satellite into orbit, and on Nov. 20 it was positioned at 103 degrees east longitude over the equator.
Space experts said the number of launches in such a short period is unprecedented in China's history, indicating the country's progress in launch capability and development of launch vehicles and spacecraft.
(Xinhua News Agency November 22, 2003)