China successfully launches Turkish satellite
Beijing: Carrying on with its space diplomacy, China today "successfully" launched a Turkish earth observation satellite into orbit aboard a Chinese rocket.
The GK-2 satellite was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China's Gobi Desert and was delivered into its predetermined orbit by a Long March 2D carrier rocket, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The launch marked the 174th flight of the Long March series of carrier rockets.
The satellite, jointly developed by Turkey's Space Technologies Research Institute and Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc, will mainly be used for environmental protection, mineral resource exploration, urban planning and disaster monitoring and management, an official statement said.
China's State Administration of Science,Technology and Industry for National Defence said this was the first time a Long March 2D carrier rocket had been used for such a launch on behalf of another country, marking a breakthrough for the entire Long March series in international commercial launching of low-earth-orbit satellites.
Turkish satellite is one of several China has launched with financial concessions or as part of its aid to different countries to gain diplomatic goodwill.
Last month, China launched a communication satellite for Sri Lanka, which has become the second South Asian country to be benefited from China after Pakistan.
Also China signed an agreement with Democratic Republic of Congo to launch a satellite for it by 2015.
Congo has become second African to country after Nigeria to get a satellite from Beijing.
According to the official media, China's Great Wall Industry Corp has completed three international contracts in 2012, including the launch of VesselSat 2 for European space systems contractor LuxSpace and VRSS 1, a remote-sensing satellite for Venezuela.
It had launched a similar satellite for Pakistan.
As of now, Great Wall has launched 35 rockets carrying a total of 41 satellites for foreign clients.
It has also provided seven piggyback launch services to foreign clients.
According to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, China aims to take up 10 per cent of the international satellite market and 15 per cent in the world's commercial launch field by the end of 2015.
China successfully sent 28 satellites or spacecraft into space through 19 launches this year, it said, adding that the most significant achievement was seen in June with the country's first manned space docking maneuvers.
Next year, China will carry out a manned space docking test between orbiting target module Tiangong-1 and the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft.
The country plans to send nearly 20 satellites into space in 2013.