April 26, 2006
China Launches Research Satellite into Orbit
BEIJING (Reuters) - China sent a science research satellite into orbit on Thursday, state media reported, marking the country's first space mission this year.
The 2,700 kg Yaogan 1 satellite was launched by the "Long March 4B" rocket and successfully entered its flight plan, Xinhua news agency said.
It will be used for land resources surveying, crop yield estimates and disaster forecasts.
China regularly launches research satellites and has ambitious space exploration plans. In 2003 it became the third nation to successfully send a man into space and it followed that with a second manned space flight last October.