At 2347 GMT on 6 April 2022, China launched a Long March 4C from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC). Aboard the launch was the Gaofen 3-03 radar satellite which was placed into a near polar sun-synchronous low Earth orbit of 744 x 738 km at an inclination of 98.4 degrees.
The spacecraft is intended to co-operate with the previously launched Gaofen 3 satellites – 3-01 and 3-02 – in order to improve revisit times. Like its predecessors the satellite is equipped with a C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Its stated mission is civil resource mapping alongside ocean development and disaster prevention and monitoring.
Matt Wilson contributed to this article