China launched a carbon dioxide monitoing satellite via a Long March-2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gobi Desert at 3:22 a.m. Thursday.
China is the third country after Japan and the United States to monitor greenhouse gases through its own satellite.
The 620-kg satellite TanSat was sent into a sun synchronous orbit about 700 kilometers above the earth and will monitor the concentration, distribution and flow of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, said Yin Zengshan, chief designer of TanSat at the Chinese Academy of Sciences micro-satellite research institute.
The satellite will help understanding of climate change, and provide China's policy makers with independent data.
During its three-year mission, TanSat will thoroughly examine global CO2 levels every 16 days, accurate to at least 4 ppm (parts per million).
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