China puts first Venezuelan Remote Sensing Satellite in Orbit

Venezuela's president, Hugo Chávez, applauds the launch of VRSS-1
Credit: Prensa Miraflores

On 29 September 2012, Venezuela's first remote sensing satellite "VRSS1" was launched into orbit from China. The satellite images will transmit information for the country's land resources inspections, environmental protection, disaster detection and management, crop yield estimation and city plans. Orbiting at an altitude of 639 km, with three daily passes over Venezuela, the satellite will have a 2.5 meter resolution, taking 350 images each day.

A Chinese Long March 2D carrier rocket has launched the satellite marking China's first in-orbit delivery of a remote sensing satellite to an international customer. In 2008, China launched Venezuela's first satellite—the Venesat-1, or "Simon Bolivar"—to carry communications facilities. Venesat-1, which was a jointly built telecommunication satellite, made Venezuela the fourth Latin American country to own a satellite after Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.