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China launches weather satellite to aid Olympic forecasts
|27 мая 2008|
China launched a second weather satellite on Tuesday to help improve forecasts for this August's Beijing Olympics, state media reported.
The 2,295-kg satellite Fengyun-3 will provide mid-range forecasts over 10 to 15 days, Xinhua news agency reported.
Detailed weather predictions are important because climatic conditions can have a major impact on Beijing's attempts to rid the skies of pollution for the Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said that some endurance events might have to be shifted if the air quality is not good enough and the earlier they know about that possibility, the easier it is to re-schedule.
There are also concerns that rain, which is common in early August in the Chinese capital, might ruin the opening ceremony at the roof-less Bird's Nest National Stadium on August 8.
Attempts to counter the threat by weather manipulation are also reliant on accurate forecasts. Beijing authorities have claimed some success in stopping rain over limited areas by firing chemicals into clouds.