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Chinese-French satellite being finalized in Beijing for 2018 liftoff

By Jiang Chenglong | | Updated: 2017-10-20 20:59

Chinese and French space scientists are working in Beijing on the final assembly of their first jointly developed satellite, which is scheduled to be launched in second half of 2018 to assist in oceanographical research.

Based on China's CAST 2000 satellite platform, which has been applied to dozens of satellites successfully, the China-France Oceanography Satellite, known as CFOSAT, will equip two major high-tech instruments — French-developed surface waves investigation and monitoring radar and Chinese-developed wind scatterometer.

The China National Space Administration said in a news release that the French-developed parts were delivered on time to their Chinese partner in August and the two nations' science teams are working together on the final assembly in Beijing.

"After the assembly, we will run a series of tests in different simulated environments similar to those in space in terms of temperature, vacuum and radiation," said Wang Hui, deputy director of the Beijing Institute of Spacecraft Environment Engineering.

The satellite is expected to be launched in the latter half of next year in China and will operate in an orbit 500 kilometers above Earth for three years, according to the administration.

The satellite is tasked with detecting the wind and waves on the ocean's surface and helping analyze their effect on the air-sea interface, which will enhance what is known about climate change.

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