China on Sunday launched a recoverable science experimental satellite into a preset orbit, atop a Long March 2C carrier rocket from a launch center in northwest China.
Space officials said the satellite was launched at 3:50 PM from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu Province, northwest China and the satellite is orbiting normally.
They said that it is the 19th recoverable science experimental satellite China has launched.
The satellite would remain in orbit for a few days before returning to Earth, and the satellite is mainly for space scientific research, land surveying, mapping and other scientific experiments, said the officials.
The Long March 2C carrier rocket used in the launch was developed by a Beijing-based rocket carrier research institute affiliated to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.
The launch is the 78th by the country's Long March carrier rockets since 1970, and the 36th consecutive successful launch since October 1996.
The Xi'an Satellite Monitor and Control Center, based in the capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, will monitor and control the orbiting of the satellite and recover its re-entry module as scheduled, the officials said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 30, 2004)