China's development of space technology may not only be a means to fulfill the government's space dreams - it can be used for precision weather forecasting and pollution control, according to a meteorological expert who works for China's manned space program.
"The space program demands an extraordinarily high level of precision and accuracy in weather forecasting. The information we need to get, like wind speed, intensity, direction and cloud formation, is very specific," Li Yonghui, director of the meteorological station of the spaceship monitoring and recovery unit at the Xi'an Satellite Control Center.
Li said the technology could be used in meteorological services for large-scale events, like the Olympics. "We can forecast weather changes for a specific stadium at specific times," he said.
The same technology can also be used in pollution control.
"For example, if we want to build a chemical plant, the technology can be used to calculate the speed that pollutants spread, and assess the scope of the pollution," Li said.
Xi'an Satellite Control Center is a major Chinese institution responsible for recovering satellites and spaceships.
(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2007)