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The Chinese three stage Long March 4B rocket carrying spy satellite "Yaogan XII" (Remote Sensing Satellite-XII) and a university developed "Tianxun 1" spacecraft lifted off at 0321 GMT from Launch Complex 1 at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre on 9th November 2011.


The Yaogan XII (Remote Sensing Satellite-XII) reconnaissance satellite has been developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). The satellite carries electro-optical sensors along with the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to perform earth observation in all weathers.

The Yaogan XII satillite has bee placed into an orbit 300 miles above Earth with an inclination of 97.4 degrees to the equator.

The 35 kg, TX 1 (Tian Xun 1) micro satellite has been developed by the students of the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. It is equipped with a 2.5 kg CCD camera developed by the students of the Suzhou University which can provide max resolution 30 meters.

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