Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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China Readies Launching of Quake-Detecting Satellite


China aims to break the notion that no person or machine in this world can detect earthquakes by launching, in two years' time, the first satellite that will detect Earth movements.

In 2016, China will launch a satellite that will detect electromagnetic signals from space, further improving China's earthquake monitoring systems.

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The satellite, said project manager, Yuan Shigeng, will collect and transmit important electromagnetic data that will hopefully improve earthquake detection.

The first phase of the test satellite involve supplying data for an ongoing research of earthquake monitoring, as well as space and earth science, conducted by the China Earthquake Administration.

Yuan said the polar-orbiting satellite will be equipped with eight payloads, including energy particle sensors, electric field detector, search oil magnetometer, a plasma analyzer and a Langmuir probe, a device used to determine the temperature and density of electrons and the electric potential of plasma.

A Major Breakthrough?

Scientists behind the test satellite project are optimistic that they would be able to achieve major breakthroughs understanding earthquakes better to save millions of lives around the world.

Shen Xuhui, of the institute of earthquake science at the China Earthquake Administration, said the data that will be gathered by the satellite will help scientists understand natural warnings prior to an earthquake.

Understanding or even predicting earthquakes will be an important milestone for China, a country that experiences hundreds of earthquakes every year. Last year, 43 earthquakes measuring above 5.0-magnitude were registered.

Earthquake Incidents in China Growing

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the number of earthquakes that hit China last year was almost twice the number recorded over the past 20 years. Earthquakes in China have claimed thousands of lives and destroyed millions of dollars' worth of property including ancient structures.

On Wednesday, a magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck the coast of Chile, resulting to the death of at least six people.

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