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Bioc China's New Generation Polar Orbiting Weather Satellite Launched

At 1102, May 27, 2008 Beijing time, China successfully blasted off its first new generation

polar orbiting weather satellite FY-III aboard a CZIVC launch vehicle, from the Taiyuan

Satellite Launch Center. 19 minutes after lifting off, the Xi'an ground control center

received the data showing that the satellite has reached the solar synchronous orbit with

an altitude of 807 km, and an inclination angle of 98.8 degrees.

Having a weight of 2,295 kg, the FY-III satellite is equipped with a dozen of payloads,

including VIRR (Visible-Infrared Radiometer), IRAS(Infrared Atmospheric Sounder), MWTS

(Microwave Temperature Sounder), and MWRI(Microwave Radiation Imager), with a

noticeably enhanced probe functionality, compared with the first generation polar orbiting

meteorological satellite FY-I. The new satellite is able to collect 3-D quantitative data on

surface, sea, and space elements in an all-weather and multi-spectrum manner, providing

more applications for intermediate range numerical weather prediction. The satellite will

play a role in monitoring natural disasters and ecological environment, studying global

environmental and climate change, and disaster prevention and preparedness. Meanwhile,

it has a function to provide global meteorological information for aviation and ocean going


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