China launched the first of a new generation of dedicated weather monitoring satellites. The 1.38 ton Fengyun-2 C was carried into geostationary orbit atop a Long March rocket from the Xichang Launch Center in Sichuan. The capabilities of the new satellite are equivalent to other international standards for space-based weather monitoring, state media quoted scientists as saying. Among other things it will keep watch on ocean surface temperatures, solar changes, as well as weather events such as hailstorms, forest and prairie fires, fog and sandstorms. Several other similar satellites are due for launch in the near future to establish a system of continual weather coverage, reports said.
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