At 0413 GMT, 9 October, a Long March-2D (CZ-2D) rocket lifted-off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China, carrying the second Venezuelan Remote Sensing Satellite, VRSS-2. The satellite was placed into 645 km sun-synchronous orbit.
In 2014, following the launch of its predecessor, VRSS-1, – launched in 2012 – Venezuela signed a second turn-key construction/launch contract with China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) for another VRSS spacecraft. Making this VRSS-2 spacecraft the third satellite constructed and launched for Venezuela by China (the first being the VENESAT 1 comms spacecraft launched in 2008).
This mission marks the first time a Long March-2 variant has launched during 2017. The rocket has been absent form the Chinese launch schedule so far this year due to a first-stage anomaly on its last launch in December 2016. During this launch of the first two GAOJING 1 spacecraft the first-stage underperformed, suffering a 100 m/s loss of velocity, resulting in its passengers being deposited into a sub-optimal orbit.