China launches mineral survey and science outreach satellites

China launched the Ziyuan 1 (02E) Earth resources observation satellite and a small amateur radio satellite on Saturday, marking the country’s 53rd orbital launch of the year.

The China National Space Administration mission’s Long March 4C rocket lifted off from Taiyuan, north China, at 10:11 p.m. Dec. 25 (0311 GMT, 11:11 a.m. local time Dec. 26). Insulation tiles fell from the rocket as it rose into clear blue skies above the launch complex.