On Monday, the domestic social media app WeChat replaced its old startup photo of the Earth seen from space with a new one taken by Fengyun 4A, a satellite launched by China last year. cri.cn comments:
The fact that Fengyun 4A can produce a photo showing a semisphere of our planet already indicates how advanced its technologies are. Contrary to popular belief, these photos are composite pictures using many photos stitched together.
Producing a photo of a whole semisphere, therefore, requires great accuracy and stability. Besides, the resolution of the camera must also be high enough to take clear pictures of different parts of the Earth.
Of course, photography is only one of the functions of Fengyun 4A. It is a weather forecast satellite and it provides ground stations with information about the temperature and the moisture in the air. Working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Fengyun 4A constantly helps us analyze and study our environment.
More importantly, the Fengyun series of satellites serve not only China, but the whole of the Eastern Hemisphere.
Research on Fengyun 4A started in 2001 and took 15 years to finish. It cost so much to develop the satellite that many countries had already given up similar programs. Yet Chinese scientists successfully launched Fengyun 4A in 2016.
Since the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, China has been paying ample attention to indigenous technological progress and laid emphasis on an innovation-driven development strategy for the country. Fengyun 4A is only one of the many achievements that have been made during this period. China has also made breakthroughs in spaceships, submarines, high-speed railways, and aircraft.
Innovation is the key to China's rejuvenation, and these achievements show China is making great progress. However, we must also be clear that we should do more to improve our core technologies so as to end our reliance on others. We also need to cultivate more talents to better accelerate our technological progress.