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China to Launch 22 more Meteorological Satellites by 2020

China will launch another 22 meteorological satellites by 2020 after successfully putting Fengyun-2D (FY-2D), its second geostationary orbit meteorological satellite, into orbit on Friday.

The 22 satellites include four more from the Fengyun-2 series, 12 from the Fengyun-3 series and six Fengyun-4 series, according to sources with the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).

Fengyun-2E, Fengyun-2F, Fengyun-2G and Fengyun-2H are scheduled to be launched in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 respectively, said a CMA official.

The first two experimental models in the Fengyun-3 series, a new generation of polar-orbiting satellites, will be launched in 2007 and 2009. The other 10 will go into orbit from 2011 to 2018, the official said.

China will launch two experimental geostationary orbit Fengyun-4 models followed by four Fengyun-4 satellites from 2012 to 2019, he said.

The FY-2D is expected to provide accurate and timely information about weather changes for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, especially the opening and closing ceremony and important contests.

The FY-2D, developed and manufactured by the Shanghai Academy of Space flight Technology affiliated to China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., is capable of carrying out infrared nephanalysis of the form and structure of clouds and can also analyze data about visible daytime light.

It will form a twin-star observation system with Fengyun-2C, China's first professional geostationary orbit weather satellite which went into orbit on Oct. 19, 2004, according to CMA.

The two satellites have their own observation tasks, but can also replace each other if one of them malfunctions, the CMA said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2006)

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