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China to build world's first satellite group for disaster reduction (11/10/03)

    The world's first constellation consisting of eight satellites will be in place within the next eight years to monitor natural disaster and help environmental protectio n, an official from the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said on Nov .10.

     Luo Ge, director of CNSA's foreign affairs department, made the announcement at the Drafting Meeting on the Convention of Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization.

    China will, together with some other countries, develop and launch three or four satellites in two to three years and the rest of the eight satellites in five to eight years from now to set up the constellation, Luo said.

    Circling over 700 kilometers above the earth, the eight satellites will monitor the natural condition of the planet and the images and data they send back will be first used by Asia-Pacific countries for peaceful purposes.

      Luo said other countries interested in the program would be welcomed as partners.

    "China adopts an open policy on space technology cooperation and is willing to make peaceful use of the technology by cooperating with other countries on an equal footing to realize common development on space exploration," said Luo.


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