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January 1, 2015
Image above: A Long March 3A rocket launched at 01:02 GMT Wednesday (8:02 p.m. EST Tuesday) with the Fengyun 2G weather satellite. Image Credit: Xinhua.
CASC ends 2014 with Long March 3A launch of Fengyun-2G (Fengyun-2-8) geostationary meteorological satellite using a Long March 3A (Chang Zheng 3A) rocket. The launch took place at 01:02 UTC on Wednesday from Pad LC2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
China’s fleet of Fengyun 2 spacecraft have a similar mission to NOAA’s GOES weather satellites in geostationary orbit. They provide non-stop images of clouds and storm systems over a third of the planet from the Middle East to the Central Pacific Ocean.
Fengyun 2G geostationary weather satellite. Image Credit:CASC
Chinese meteorologists exchange weather data acquired by the Fengyun satellites with NOAA and Eumetsat, its European counterpart.
One more satellite from the fleet is scheduled before the new Fengyun-4 satellites enters service, with the first launch of the next generation scheduled for December 2015.
Made by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC), Fengyun 2G is expected to operate at least four years, but previous Chinese weather satellites have functioned longer than designed. The new satellite features several technical improvements, and officials expect it to work until 2020, the China Meteorological Administration said on its website.
The barrel-shaped satellite is spin-stabilized — rotating at 100 rpm — and carries a scanning radiometer to observe Earth’s weather in visible and infrared wavelengths, allowing day and night imagery of storms.
For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), visit: http://english.spacechina.com/n16421/index.html
Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: CASC/Orbiter.ch Aerospace.
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