At 2253 GMT on 12 October China conducted a Long March 2C/3 (CZ-2C/3) launch that was a surprise to many Western observers. The mission from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Northern China carried the HJ-2E (Huanjing Jianzai 2E) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite to an approximately 500 km sun-synchronous orbit. It is described as a 5-metre resolution S-band radar satellite to be used for “disaster reduction, emergency management, and environment monitoring”. The satellite is known in English as “Emergency Disaster Mitigation No. 2E”.