China-France Oceanographic Satellite (CFOSat)
Credit: CNES

The China-France Oceanographic Satellite (CFOSat) was launched on October 29 by the Long March-2C carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert.

Jointly developed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, CFOSat will conduct 24-hour observations of global wave spectrum, effective wave height and ocean surface wind field, according to the CNSA.

Long March-2C carrier rocket departs Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert.

Tidal patterns

The satellite carries an observation system with a French wavelength dispersive spectrometer designed to measure the direction and wavelength of ocean tidal patterns and a Chinese apparatus for monitoring wind strength and direction.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron exchanged congratulatory letters, stressing the significance of the joint space project. Macron said in his message that the CFOSat launch marks an important step forward in bilateral space cooperation.

Credit: CCTV/Screengrab


The effort was first conceived in 2005. In the 13 years since then, French and Chinese researchers have worked side-by-side to overcome a range of obstacles, according to China’s state-run CCTV.

“Both sides learn from each other and have gains in the cooperation. We reach a consensus on relevant procedures in such international cooperation, despite our differences in culture and tradition. That has created favorable conditions for our follow-up cooperation,” said Zhao Jian, deputy director of the systemic project department of China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

“Data acquired by the China-France Oceanography Satellite will be open to all the scientists and research institutes around the world so as to promote human research on the ocean,” said Zhao.

Video of launch can be viewed at:

Credit: China Central Television

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