China on Saturday successfully launched a Long March 4C carrier rocket with the Yaogan XX satellite, Xinhua news agency reported.
The carrier lifted off at 1:45 p.m. local time (05:45 GMT) from the launch pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the country’s northwestern Gobi desert.
The satellite is expected “to conduct scientific experiments, carry out land surveys, monitor crop yields and aid in preventing and reducing natural disasters,” according to Xinhua.
The agency said that it was the 190th launch of the nation’s Long March rocket family.
In December 2013, China’s high-resolution Ziyuan I-03 satellite, developed by Chinese and Brazilian experts, failed to enter the orbit after its launch from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in the northern Shanxi Province due to a malfunctioning rocket.
China’s space program dates back to October 1956, when the country’s first rocket research institution-the fifth Academy of the Ministry of National Defense was established. By 2020, China plans to build its own space station to operate in orbit and create a space laboratory.