BEIJING, Jul. 30, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- China's first high resolution, stereoscopic mapping satellite for civilian use will be launched during the second half of 2011, the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping said Thursday.
The bureau said the ZY-3 will be sent into space by the Long March-4B carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China.
The satellite is expected to "provide steady and reliable data sources for surveying and mapping on the scale of 1:50,000."
ZY-3 is to provide mapping to be used in wide-ranging sectors such as disaster prevention and reduction, water conservancy, agriculture, forestry, environmental protection, urban construction and planning, communications and national defense.
The bureau is also working with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation on the research and development of the next generation of satellites after the ZY-3.
The ZY-3 project was kicked off in March 2008. Three ground stations in Beijing, Kashgar in far west Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Sanya in the southernmost island province of Hainan, will receive and transmit satellite data.