China has launched the first of its new generation of geo-stationary weather satellites, which will significantly enhance its ability to predict weather patterns.
A midnight lift-off from the Xichang satellite launch center on Dec 10.
The Fengyun-4 is the first in the next generation of Fengyun geostationary weather satellites and it’s also the country’s first quantitative remote-sensing satellite in high orbit which marks an upgrade for China’s meteorological satellites in geostationary orbit.
“The launch of Fengyun-4 is a milestone success. It’ll greatly enhance the standard of China’s earth observation system, and will also contribute to the improvement of the accuracy of weather forecasts,” said Wu Yanhua, bureau deputy director of State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry.
Fengyun-4 will carry instruments for enhanced imaging, vertical atmospheric sounding, lightning mapping and space environment monitoring.
Orbiting at more than 35,000 kilometers, the satellites will provide high spatial, temporal and spectral resolution observations of China and surrounding areas.
China is one of the few countries with a comprehensive meteorological satellite system.
It had previously launched fourteen weather satellites, and seven of them are still in orbit.
Fengyun satellites provide data for over seventy countries and regions in the world.
“The successful launch of the satellite has brought China’s observatory satellite into the world’s advanced level. And next, we’ll apply technology to the construction of the belt and road project, so as to take precautions against natural calamities,” said Yu Xinwen, commander in Chief of Fengyun-4 Satellite Mission.
And in fact the completion of this milestone mission just marked the opening salvo in a busy end-of-year push as China will attempt another three launches in December, an intense finish to a record-breaking and breakthrough year.