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China launches first Quantitative Remote-sensing Weather Satellite in High Orbit

The satellite, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China's Sichuan Province

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In China, Pixabay

Beijing, Dec 11, 2016: China launched a weather satellite at 12:11 a.m. local time on Sunday, marking an upgrade of China’s meteorological satellites in geostationary orbit.

The Fengyun-4 satellite, the first of China’s second-generation weather satellites in geostationary orbit to have been launched, is also the country’s first quantitative remote-sensing satellite in high orbit, Xinhua news agency reported.

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The satellite, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, was taken into orbit by a Long March-3B carrier rocket. The launch marked the 242nd mission of China’s Long March series of rockets.

The satellite will make high time, spatial and spectral resolution observations of the atmosphere, clouds and space environment of China and surrounding regions, significantly improving capabilities of weather and climate forecasts, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

The China Meteorological Administration is the primary user of the satellite.

Previously, China had successfully launched 14 weather satellites, seven of which are still in orbit. (IANS)

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New Virus Can Spread Through Human Contact: China

China: Possible That New Virus Could Spread Between Humans

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CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS
Security guards stand in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market, where health authorities say a man who died from a respiratory illness had purchased goods from, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. VOA

The possibility that a new virus in central China could spread between humans cannot be ruled out, though the risk of transmission at the moment appears to be low, Chinese officials said Wednesday.

Forty-one people in the city of Wuhan have received a preliminary diagnosis of a novel coronavirus, a family of viruses that can cause both the common cold and more serious diseases. A 61-year-old man with severe underlying conditions died from the coronavirus on Saturday.

While preliminary investigations indicate that most of the patients had worked at or visited a particular seafood wholesale market, one woman may have contracted the virus from her husband, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a public notice.

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Commuters wear protection masks inside a subway train in Hong Kong, China. VOA

The commission said the husband, who fell ill first, worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Meanwhile, the wife said she hasn’t had any exposure to the market.

It’s possible that the husband brought home food from the market that then infected his wife, Hong Kong health official Chuang Shuk-kwan said at a news briefing. But because the wife did not exhibit symptoms until days after her husband, it’s also possible that he infected her.

Chuang and other Hong Kong health officials spoke to reporters Wednesday following a trip to Wuhan, where mainland Chinese authorities briefed them on the outbreak.

The threat of human-to-human transmission remains low, Chuang said, as hundreds of people, including medical professionals, have been in close contact with infected individuals and have not been infected themselves.

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She echoed Wuhan authorities’ assertion that there remains no definitive evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The outbreak in Wuhan has raised the specter of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. SARS is a type of coronavirus that first struck southern China in late 2002. It then spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800 people. (VOA)