China has launched the new Gaofen-6 Earth observation satellite into a Sun-synchronous orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

Launched onboard a Long March-2D rocket, the mission also carried the Luojia-1 CubeSat, developed by Wuhan University, to conduct nighttime remote-sensing activities, reported

The launch represents the 276th mission carried out by the Long March family of rockets.

Developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology, the Gaofen-6 has primarily been designed to perform agricultural resource research and disaster monitoring.

With an operational life of eight years, the 1,064kg satellite is equipped with a 2m resolution panchromatic camera, an 8m multi-spectral imager and a 16m multispectral wide-angle colour camera to capture high-resolution images.

“The launch represents the 276th mission carried out by the Long March family of rockets.”

Forming a part of the current Gaofen satellites in orbit, the Gaofen-6 has similar capabilities of its predecessor Gaofen-1 satellite, which was launched in April 2013, reported Xinhua.

However, the newly launched satellite can observe chlorophyll and other nutritional content of crops.

Gaofen series satellites chief engineer Tong Xudong said the satellite will help estimate yields of crops, including corn, rice, soybeans, cotton and peanuts.

The resulting data will also be used to observe agricultural disasters such as droughts and floods, as well as analyse agricultural projects, and survey forest and wetland resources.

Last month, China launched the Gaofen-5 satellite, which features the highest spectral resolution of remote-sensing satellites launched by the country.