Skip to content

China to launch 14 meteorological satellites into space

China is planning to launch 14 more meteorological satellites into orbit over the next decade, a senior Chinese official said today.

China plans to launch one Fengyun-II satellite, four Fengyun-III, three Fengyun-IV and another six for multiple meteorological purposes by 2025, Wu Yanhua, deputy head of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, said.

Fengyun satellites are a series of remote-sensing meteorological satellites developed by China.

The Fengyun series is an important part of the earth observation satellite system.

China has launched 14 Fengyun satellites since 1988, with seven still in orbit as part of the World Meteorological Organisation network, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Last month, China said it will launch five new satellites within five years, including its first solar exploration satellite, to end its dependency on foreign solar data.

The satellites, including a Sino-European joint mission known as SMILE, will focus on observation of solar activities and their impact on the earth’s environment and space weather, besides analysing water recycling and probing of black holes, an official had said.

China also plans to launch nearly 40 Beidou navigation satellites in the next five years to support its ambitious global navigation and positioning network that it hopes will end the dominance of US-operated Global Positioning System (GPS).

The country plans to expand the Beidou services to most of the countries covered in its “Belt and Road” initiative by 2018, and offer global coverage by 2020.

GPS, operated and maintained by the US Air Force, is a constellation of 24 or more satellites flying 20,350 km above the surface of the Earth. Each one circles the planet twice a day in one of six orbits to provide continuous, worldwide coverage.