Xi, Macron salute ocean-ob­serv­ing satel­lite launch

China Daily European Weekly - - China News - By XIN­HUA and CHINA DAILY

Chi­nese pres­i­dent says project will help com­bat cli­mate change while French leader hails im­por­tant step in space co­op­er­a­tion

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping ex­changed con­grat­u­la­tions with French coun­ter­part Em­manuel Macron on Oct 29 on China’s suc­cess­ful launch of an ocean-ob­serv­ing satel­lite de­vel­oped by the two coun­tries as part of their space co­op­er­a­tion.

The China-France Oceanog­ra­phy Satel­lite, atop a Long March 2C car­rier rocket, took off at 8:43 am from the Ji­uquan Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in Gansu prov­ince and entered a sun­syn­chronous or­bit 520 kilo­me­ters above Earth.

Xi said in his con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sage to Macron that space co­op­er­a­tion is an im­por­tant part of the China-France com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship.

The satel­lite’s launch, the lat­est re­sult of their co­op­er­a­tion, will play a sig­nif­i­cant role in global ma­rine en­vi­ron­men­tal mon­i­tor­ing and dis­as­ter man­age­ment and re­duc­tion, and will help fight cli­mate change, Xi added.

The joint mis­sion be­tween the China Na­tional Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the Cen­tre Na­tional d’Etudes Spa­tiales, the French space agency, will en­able 24-hour ob­ser­va­tion of the global wave spec­trum, ef­fec­tive wave height and ocean sur­face wind fields.

Xi said China con­sid­ers re­la­tions with France to be very im­por­tant. It is will­ing to work with France to deepen bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields and con­stantly ad­vance a close, last­ing com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship to a higher level so as to bet­ter ben­e­fit the two coun­tries and peo­ples, he added.

Macron told Xi that the satel­lite launch marks an im­por­tant step forward in bi­lat­eral space co­op­er­a­tion.

The suc­cess came af­ter huge ef­forts by space agen­cies and re­searchers of the two coun­tries, dis­play­ing again the will of both France and China to ad­vance in­ter­na­tional ef­forts against cli­mate change, the French leader said.

Call­ing space co­op­er­a­tion an im­por­tant part of the France-China strate­gic part­ner­ship, Macron said France is will­ing to work with China to deepen bi­lat­eral ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion on space and cli­mate change.

As the first satel­lite project be­tween China and France, CFOS is equipped with the world’s most ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies, ex­perts say.

The satel­lite car­ries two in­no­va­tive radar in­stru­ments — a wind scat­terom­e­ter de­vel­oped by China to mea­sure the strength and di­rec­tion of winds, and a wave spec­trom­e­ter de­vel­oped by France to sur­vey the length, height and di­rec­tion of waves, ac­cord­ing to Wang Lili, chief de­signer of the satel­lite at the China Academy of Space Tech­nol­ogy.

The two in­stru­ments will help sci­en­tists col­lect data about wind and waves at the same lo­ca­tion si­mul­ta­ne­ously for the first time, Wang says.

Forecasts have been en­hanced sig­nif­i­cantly in the past decade, but pre­dic­tion ac­cu­racy still needs to be im­proved, es­pe­cially in ex­treme events, such as hur­ri­canes, ty­phoons and rapidly evolv­ing storms, ac­cord­ing to space sci­en­tists.

The new satel­lite, com­ple­ment­ing other oceanog­ra­phy satel­lites, will study the dy­nam­ics of waves and how they in­ter­act with wind, and deepen un­der­stand­ing of their for­ma­tion and phys­i­cal mech­a­nisms, says Zhao Jian, an of­fi­cial with China Na­tional Space Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

It will help in­crease the ob­ser­va­tion and pre­dic­tion of cat­a­strophic sea states, such as huge waves and trop­i­cal storms, and pro­vide se­cu­rity sup­port for off­shore op­er­a­tions and en­gi­neer­ing, ship nav­i­ga­tion, fish­eries and coastal man­age­ment, Zhao says.

CHARLES PLATIAU / REUTERS

French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron (right) looks on as Jean-Yves Le Gall (left), pres­i­dent of the French space agency, re­ceives a scale model of the China-France Oceanog­ra­phy Satel­lite dur­ing a visit to Bei­jing in Jan­uary.

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