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Satellite to help Beijing’s Olympics

A small satellite is expected to be launched in May next year to serve the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by monitoring the capital city’s venue construction, environment and traffic conditions though 2009.

The satellite will help fulfilling Beijing’s promise to make the Olympics a high-tech event, and is expected to provide nationwide satellite remote sensing services. The satellite will also be the fifth one of the International Disaster Relief Network, which has seven in total.

The government will invest 190 million yuan (23 million US dollars) in the project, which will be supervised by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Beijing Municipal Commission of Science and Technology.

After being launched, the 100-kilogram satellite will orbit 600kilometers above the earth and it will work for five years in space, going around the earth once every 100 minutes, said sourceswith the Beijing Municipal Commission of Science and technology.

According to Wang, the construction of Olympic venues will be under control through the use of the satellite. Olympic venue construction will reach a peak this year as construction of 11 gymnasiums and four Olympic facilities, such as the Olympic Village, begins.

Beijing has started some 250 high-tech projects serving the 2008 Olympic Games and a layout is expected to be submitted to the International Olympic Committee in October.