Venezuela successfully launched the Antonio Jose de Sucre satellite into orbit from the Jiuquan Launch Center in the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu.
The satellite was launched at midnight local time. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said the new satellite will provide a better tool for monitoring agriculture health, energy food, security, socio-natural risk management and security.
"This is technological independence that we are conquering in the great strategic partnership with our brothers of the People's Republic of China," Maduro said. "This represents a military civic effort."
The head of state described the launch of the satellite as "historic."
The instrument weighs 942 kilograms and measures 1.6 meters long and 2.1 meters high. Additionally, it will orbit in synchrony with the sun to a proximity of 645 kilometers of the Earth.
The highly sophisticated device is equipped with both high definition and infrared cameras and will monitor regions photographing particular areas every four days. Officials believe this feature will be particularly helpful in controlling criminal activity.
AVN reports say more than 100 young Venezuelans were involved in its design, structure, and construction.
"It can be properly said that the satellite Sucre is designed by Venezuelans," said the President ABAE, Camilo Torres.
"Sucre has already perfected a work done by Miranda over these five years, both for the exploration of mining and the protection of our frontiers, and to strengthen the work of the Orinoco Mining Arc with more information and data to clarify better actions in the economic and productive development of the country," he said, referring to Venezuela’s second satellite Francisco de Miranda, which was launched in September 2012.
The two platforms will orbit near each other during the transfer of data and information.
Scientists say Miranda may have at least two years left in operation.
President Maduro, prior to the launch, said the Antonio Jose de Sucre satellite “will be sovereign, independent, and so we will go to the fourth, fifth, sixth satellite and the development of the highest technology in Venezuela.”
“Venezuela is moving forward. We are being beaten, yes, but we are moving forward with work, government and defense of the country,” Maduro insisted.