France, China launch first jointly built satellite to study climate change

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China sent its first ever satellite built in partnership with another country into space on Monday, a device tasked with helping scientists better predict dangerous cyclones and climate change by monitoring ocean surface winds and waves.

A Long March 2C carrier rocket blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China’s Gobi Desert at 0043 GMT, according to China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.

The 650-kilogram (1,430 pounds) China-France Oceanography Satellite (CFOSAT) is the first satellite jointly built by China and France and will allow climate scientists to better understand the interactions between oceans and the atmosphere.

It’s fitted with two radars: the French-made SWIM spectrometer, which will measure the direction and the wavelength of waves, and China’s SCAT, a scatterometer that will analyze the force and direction of winds.

The data will be collected and analyzed in both countries.

The instruments will allow scientists to collect information about winds and waves of the same location simultaneously for the first time, Wang Lili, chief designer of the satellite with the China Academy of Space Technology, said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.