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China to launch second Olympic satellite in May

RIA Novosti

05/03/2008 20:02 MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti) - China will launch in May a second meteo satellite to ensure more precise weather forecasts during the Beijing Olympic Games set to open on August 8, the Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

The new satellite, Fengyun-3, has a bigger payload than its predecessors and will provide medium-range weather forecasts for up to 10 to 15 days. It will replace the FY-1D weather satellite launched in 2002 whose service term has expired.

The assembly of the satellite has been completed in Shanghai.

"It has passed factory tests and is ready for delivery to the launching site, where it will undergo another two months of testing," Xinhua quoted Zhou Hongling, a designer from Shanghai, as saying.

China has launched eight meteorological satellites since weather research started in the 1970s. Its first Olympic weather forecasting satellite, the FY-2D, was launched in 2006.

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