Luan Enjie, administrator of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), voiced Beijing's determination to assist in natural disaster relief by launching a small cluster of satellites by 2006. China's natural disasters in 2003 racked up over US$22 billion in costs to the local and national governments.

"Through the establishment of a small satellite constellation consisting of multiple small remote-sensing satellites, our capacity in applying space technology in disaster mitigation and environmental monitoring will be improved," said Luan Enjie in a China Daily article.

Intent on monitoring the environment for floods, drought, typhoons, wind storms and tidal events, the satellites will also contribute to understanding earthquake predictions.


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