On January 09, 2012 at 03:17 UTC the "Chang Zheng-4B” (Long March 4B) rocket-carrier was launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi province, China.
The rocket orbited the "Ziyuan III” high-resolution remote-sensing satellite. The satellite, weighing 2650 kg, entered an orbit of 500 km above the Earth about 12 minutes after it was launched. It has a designed life expectancy of five years.
The satellite is tasked with offering services to aid the country's land-resources surveys, natural-disaster prevention, agriculture development, water-resources management, and urban planning.
The rocket also orbited the "VesselSat-2” satellite from Luxemburg.
The "Ziyuan III” orbiter was developed and produced by the China Academy of Space Technology, a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
The Long March 4B rocket is developed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, another CASC subsidiary. Monday's mission marked the 156th flight of China's Long March series of carrier rockets.