China has launched a second satellite built for Venezuela’s government.
The remote sensing satellite soared into orbit atop a rocket from the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu.
The launch was shown live on Venezuelan TV on Friday night. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez applauded as he watched alongside aides in Caracas, congratulating those who worked on the project.
Officials have said the satellite cost US$140 million and will provide images for tasks such as mapping croplands, counter-drug efforts and monitoring floods.
The launch came more than a week ahead of Venezuela’s October 7 presidential election, in which Chavez is seeking another six-year term.
The satellite is named after Venezuelan independence hero Francisco de Miranda.
Venezuela’s first satellite was named after independence leader Simon Bolivar. It was launched from China in 2008.