China launches high-res satellite able to provide stereo imagery - CCTV

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China launched a new high-resolution remote sensing satellite capable of providing stereoscopic imagery on Sunday, state-run media said, marking another important step as Beijing seeks to reduce reliance on foreign technology in topographic mapping.

A rocket lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in northern China at 11:22 a.m. local time, carrying the Gaofen-7 high resolution satellite into its designated orbit, the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) said, citing China National Space Administration.

Gaofen-7, a sub-metre resolution optical satellite, boasts the highest mapping accuracy among its domestic peers, and is able to map China and even the world's lands stereoscopically with a margin of error of less than a metre, according to CCTV.

The satellite, which will be used for land surveys, urban planning and statistical investigation, will help end China's reliance on foreign imports in high-resolution stereo mapping, the CCTV added.

The purpose of China's satellite remote sensing project - the Gaofen series - is to help build an all-weather, 24-hour, global Earth remote sensing system by 2020 capable of monitoring the ground, atmosphere, and oceans, according to CNSA.

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The Gaofen project, one of the 16 major projects that are key to the nation's scientific development, is also aimed at comprehensively boosting China's self-reliance in accessing high-resolution earth observation data.

(Reporting by Roxannie Liu, Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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