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China launches new meteorological satellite
The Fengyun 4B meteorological satellite, carried by a Long March 3B rocket, is launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan province, June 3, 2021. [Photo by Guo Wenbin/chinadaily.com.cn]
China launched a weather satellite early on Thursday morning from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province.
The 5.4-metric ton Fengyun 4B, developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, was carried by a Long March 3B carrier rocket that blasted off at 0:17 am and was later deployed in a geostationary orbit, according to the China National Space Administration.
It is expected to operate at least seven years in orbit and is tasked with working with its predecessor – Fengyun 4A – to observe small- and medium-scale harmful meteorological events. The two-satellite system will conduct real-time monitoring of flood, cold wave, drought, snow accumulation as well as sand storm in Asia, Indian Ocean and middle parts of Pacific Ocean.
The new satellite's service will improve the country's capability to identify, forecast and respond to weather-caused disasters and will provide meteorological support to sectors ranging from agriculture, environmental protection to civil aviation and water resources development, the administration said in a statement.
The most advanced meteorological satellite the country has built, Fengyun 4B is capable of taking four pictures each minute that can cover 1 million square kilometers. It features the highest visible-light resolution of all geosynchronous meteorological satellites in the world, double that of the Fengyun 4A, designers said.
China launched its first weather satellite, Fengyun 1A, in 1988. Since then, it has lifted 18 Fengyun meteorological satellites. Currently, the nation operates eight weather satellites including the newest Fengyun 4B, Fengyun 4A, and several in the Fengyun 2 and Fengyun 3 series.
By Zhao Lei | chinadaily.com.cn