China launches weather satellite for Olympics
China on Tuesday launched a weather satellite that it plans to use for forecasting during the Beijing Olympics in August, dpa reported.
The Fengyun-3 weather satellite was launched on a Long March- 4C carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in the northern province of Shanxi, the official Xinhua news agency said.
It will join the Fengyun- 2 in providing "accurate and timely information about weather changes to facilitate more precise weather forecasts" during the Olympics, the agency quoted the Chinese Meteorological Administration as saying.
The launch of the was 2,295-kilogram satellite was the 106th mission by a Long March carrier rocket, it said.
Last year, the government said it planned to develop a new range of heavy-duty Long March rockets for its space programme and commercial satellite launching over the next three decades.
In 2003, China became the third country to launch an astronaut into space after Russia and the United States.
It released plans in 2000 for a 20-year programme to build an integrated ground-space network for space exploration and manned space research, including a permanent space laboratory by 2020.
It said it hopes to send exploration vehicles to the moon and Mars as part of its long-term plan for developing its commercial space industry.