China launched an ocean observation satellite, Haiyang-2, from the Taiyuan launching base in Shanxi province, north-eastern China. The remote sensing payload flew into orbit on top of a Long March 4B rocket, which placed the satellite in a 565-mile-high orbit with an inclination of 99 degrees.
The satellite will study dynamic ocean environments such as sea surface winds, wave height and water temperatures. It will survey maritime environment, help prevent potential disasters at sea and contribute to marine weather forecasts.
Its instruments include a microwave sensor, a radiometer and an altimeter.
Earlier Haiyang-1 satellites monitored ocean pollution and shallow waters to help in the operation of harbours and ports. A third generation of satellites is planned to combine the Haiyang-1 and Haiyang-2 missions.