China launches two satellites to monitor weather, atmosphere

Other News Materials 5 November 2008 12:41 (UTC +04:00)

China on Wednesday launched into orbit two satellites to monitor the weather and natural disasters and test technology for atmospheric exploration, state media said.

The satellites were launched by a Long March-2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the north-western province of Gansu, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The smaller satellite, the Chuangxin 1-02, was developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to "collect and relay hydrological and meteorological data and data for disaster relief," the agency said.

The Shiyan Satellite-3 would be used for "experiments on new technologies in atmospheric exploration," it quoted developers at the Harbin Institute of Technology as saying.

Wednesday's launch was the 112th of China's Long March series of rockets, it said.

China launched two more satellites for monitoring the environment and natural disasters in September.

Last year, the government said it planned to develop a new range of heavy-duty Long March rockets for its space and commercial satellite programmes over the next three decades.

In 2003, China became the third country to launch a manned rocket into space after Russia and the United States.

Its third manned mission, launched in late September, carried out China's first spacewalk, reported dpa.