China launches new-generation weather satellite

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Beijing, Dec 11 (IANS) China launched a weather satellite at 12:11 a.m. local time on Sunday, marking an upgrade of China’s meteorological satellites in geostationary orbit.

The Fengyun-4 satellite, the first of China’s second-generation weather satellites in geostationary orbit to have been launched, is also the country’s first quantitative remote-sensing satellite in high orbit, Xinhua news agency reported.

The satellite, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, was taken into orbit by a Long March-3B carrier rocket. The launch marked the 242nd mission of China’s Long March series of rockets.

The satellite will make high time, spatial and spectral resolution observations of the atmosphere, clouds and space environment of China and surrounding regions, significantly improving capabilities of weather and climate forecasts, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

The China Meteorological Administration is the primary user of the satellite.

Previously, China had successfully launched 14 weather satellites, seven of which are still in orbit.

–IANS

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