Pictures From China's New Satellite Gaofen-2 Show Incredible Detail, Right Down To Pedestrian Crossings

Picture: China State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense

Chinese space authorities have released the first set of pictures beamed back from its new satellite Gaofen-2.

Gaofen-2 was launched in August. The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense plans to use it for things such as disaster relief, land use surveillance and mineral resource surveys.

It can capture full colour pics at “sub-meter clarity” and gather information on objects from space in incredible detail.

Picture: China State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense
Picture: China State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense

Here’s some close up detail of the top picture which shows the central axis of Beijing:

“The height of the highest building in Shanghai’s Lujiazui District is about 600 meters,” satellite expert with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation Xu Wen told CriEnglish.

“We can see its projection is longer than that of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. We can measure and calculate the height of buildings via the length of their projection in the photos. Then we can judge the construction progress.”

Picture: China State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense

China plans on launching five more Gaofen satellites by 2020 as part of a high-definition observation project. All will specialise in different tasks, but combine their uses for detailed analyses.

Picture: China State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense

Here’s a few direct hi-res links if you’ve got some time on your hands:

The central axis of Beijing

Beijing’s Xizhimen transport hub

Tianchi Lake on the top of Tianshan Mountain

Gaofen-1 was launched last year and for the most part has focused on monitoring the land and helping disaster relief efforts. Although late last month, it proved a handy means to bust Chinese marijuana growers.

The Verge has a great collection of Gaofen-1 shots, including this stunning pic of a plateau cut by erosion:

Picture: China State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense

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