Climate : launch of “history” this morning (Monday) of a satellite of the franco-chinese

Climat : lancement "historique" ce lundi matin d'un satellite franco-chinois

A rocket Long March-2C took off this morning (Monday) the centre’s satellite launch from Jiuquan.

“It is a historical fact” : China launched on Monday 29 October for the first time a satellite built in collaboration with France, a spacecraft that will examine the oceans in order to better predict the effects of climate change.

“It is a historical fact” : China launched on Monday 29 October for the first time a satellite built in collaboration with France, a spacecraft that will examine the oceans in order to better predict the effects of climate change. A rocket Long March-2C took off at 8: 43 am local time (0 h 43 GMT) from the launch base in Jiuquan (north-west), with on board the CFOSAT (China-France Oceanography SATellite”), said the state Administration for Science, Technology and Industry of national Defence.

A better understanding of

The spacecraft of approximately 650 kg, will study the wind and the waves at the sea surface, 24 hours on 24, and thus to improve weather forecasts, marine. It will also be used to predict with more accuracy the severe storms or cyclones. And will allow climatologists to better understand the interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere, which plays a crucial role in the climate. Designed by the French space agencies (Cnes – national space studies Centre) and china (CNSA – China National Space Administration), it embeds two radars : the SWIM French (a measure of the direction and the wavelength of the wave) and the SCAT chinese (which analyzes the strength and direction of the wind).

“It is a historical fact. This is the first time that there has been a satellite of China in international cooperation. And the fact that it is with France shows the strength of the ties that bind us to China,” said Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of Cnes. “This satellite will allow to significantly advance in the understanding of climate change.”

Three years of life

Placed in orbit around the Earth, at a distance of 520 km, the satellite will have a lifespan of three years. The data will be collected and analysed by ground stations located in both countries. “It really is a case of win-win for France, and China. And at the same time there is a very nice political symbol”, underlines Jean-Yves Le Gall. The project was launched in 2007. It is also conducted in cooperation with the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), the French research Institute for exploitation of the sea (Ifremer) and Météo France.

“This launch shows that the international community is increasingly willing to consider China as a full partner,” says Jacqueline Myrrh, an analyst at GoTaikonauts.com a specialist internet site in the space program chinese. China is investing billions of euros. She hopes to have a space station inhabited by 2022 and send it to term humans on the Moon.

“Opportunities”

“France will benefit from the wealth of data provided by the satellite CFOSAT. These are today more necessary than ever in order to observe the effects of climate change,” points out Jacqueline Myrrh. “This will allow him also to have launch opportunities and to have a privileged access to the cooperation space with China. And maybe even, who knows, put a spationaut French in the future space station china.” The two countries are already collaborating on several records in terms of space.

Objective Moon ?

The orbital module chinese Tiangong-2 boards from 2016 the French system Cardiospace, which allows to monitor the cardiovascular system of astronauts in weightlessness. The mission SVOM is designed to be placed in orbit in 2021, a satellite dedicated to the observation of gamma-ray bursts. These phenomena, considered to be the most energy of the universe, arising for example from the explosion of massive stars or the merger of black holes. “For the future, we will also be working with our chinese friends to cooperation on the exploration missions, whether the Moon or Mars,” points out Jean-Yves Le Gall.

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