To keep an eye on the planet, China has successfully launched a new earth observation satellite Gaofen-6, which will be used for monitoring agricultural resources as well as disaster monitoring and prediction.

Advancing into space research and making its presence felt in nothingness, beyond Earth, China has successfully launched its environmental research and experimental earth imaging nano-satellite called Gaofen-6. The launch was monitored by China National Space Administration (CNSA), the Gaofen-6 satellite was carried by a Long March-2D rocket that was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China on Saturday. During the launch, another scientifically experimental satellite named Luojia-1 was sent into space on the 2D rocket. Besides being an important experimental mission, the launch marked 276th mission of the Long March rocket series.

The Gaofen 6 Earth observation payload is the upgraded version of the Gaofen 1 satellite that was launched by China in 2013 – adding to the Gaofen family, which is a series of civilian-operated remote sensing observatories used for monitoring and imaging Earth. Geofen 6, launched for an eight year space mission, will be used in agricultural resources research and disaster monitoring – similar to Europe’s Sentinel environmental satellites which takes images of the planet from the top to research and analyse the anatomy of Earth.

Gaofen 6, specifically, is equipped with sensors that can measure the nutrient content of vegetation and help estimate the yields of crops, such as corn, rice, soybeans, cotton and peanuts, etc. The nano-satellite is also capable of surveying wetlands, forests and agricultural disasters such as floods and droughts – that will better help the meteorological department of China to understand and forecast weather conditions. While on the other hand, the smaller satellite Luojia 1 will be used for experimental remote sensing mission in the space – first of its series for China to help it advance in civilian space research.