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China to launch remote system, competitor to Google Earth

Staff writer |
Chinese scientists announced they will launch China's first remote sensing satellite for commercial use in October.

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The Jilin-1 satellite will put into orbit two satellites for videos, one for photographs and a fourth to test new space technology, Xuan Ming, board chairman of Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co Ltd told state-run Xinhua news agency.

The project has been developed under the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The satellites will focus on providing photographs to commercial clients, helping with harvest assessment, geological disaster prevention and resource surveys, Xuan explained.

China's space program, with a large number of manned and lunar missions and a satellite program that has as clients countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America, has caught up with that of the U.S. and Russia.

It is also developing its own version of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, using its BeiDou satellites.