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Smile Fengyun-2F, Long March 3A, January 13, 2012
by Galactic Penguin SST 01-13-2012, 07:22 AM

You won't usually see people celebrating on Black Fridays, but today the Chinese aerospace workers and meteorologists have a reason to rejoice: the latest Chinese geostationary meteorological satellite is now on its way. The
Long March 3A rocket Long March 3A rocket
was launched at 00:56 UTC today from pad no. 3 of the
Xichang Satellite Launch Center Xichang Satellite Launch Center
, carrying
Fengyun Fengyun
-2F ("Storm/Wind and Clouds-2F") into space, and delivering it to a 211 X 36139 km X 24.4 degree transfer orbit 24 minutes after liftoff.

The Fengyun-2 series is China's first weather satellite series that operates from GEO. Similar in function to the American
, the European
Meteosat Meteosat
and Russia's new Electro-L series, they are equipped with optical cameras and infrared scanners that scans the Earth atmosphere for collecting cloud cover, water vapor and heat distribution data from the same viewing point 24 hours a day. The data and images are then used by meteorologists and the public for weather forecasting. Also on board is a space particle and radiation detection package for space weather forecasting.

FY-2F (weighing at 1.39 tonnes) is the sixth one launched by China (not including another one that was involved in a fatal explosion during pre-launch testing in April 1994), and the first of three "batch 3" satellites to be launched. The satellite will go into service (along with the earlier FY-2D/E) at the 112 degrees East slot for at least 5 years, providing data to meteorologists around the globe (I believe even the NOAA use data from the Chinese satellites!).

Overview articles:

NASASpaceflight.com: China launch again Long March 3A launches FengYun-2F


News report about the launch (in Chinese)

Discussion threads on this launch:
http://www.9ifly.cn/thread-2480-1-1.html (in Chinese)

Last edited by Galactic Penguin SST; 01-13-2012 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:19 AM   #2
astrosammy's Avatar


Propably related to this launch:

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