China begins its geostationary meteorological satellite FY-2 program in 1980. Feng-Yun-2 is China's geostationary meteorological satellite, built by the Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering. The spin-stabilized spacecraft is quite similar to the Japanese GMS-5 satellite originally built by the Hughes. The FY-2 satellite is operationally similar to GMS with high resolution stretched VISSR data (5km IR, 5km WV, 1.25km VIS), low resolution Wefax (analog), DCP capability and a new digital S-band fax service (CCITT G3) for domestic distribution of charts and imagery. The attitude of the satellite is spin stabilized with a speed of 100 rotation/min. The spacecraft is slightly more massive than PRC's DFH-2 communications satellite. The Feng Yun 2 spacecraft bus diameter is 2.1 m, and the total height on-station is about 4.5 m.In 1994 the long-awaited Feng Yun 2 GEO meteorological spacecraft was to be launched and positioned at 105 degrees E. The first Feng Yun 2 satellite was undergoing final check-out on 2 April 1994 before being mated to its launch vehicle when a fire and explosion erupted, destroying the vehicle, killing one worker, and injuring 20 or more others. A second Feng Yun 2 spacecraft was not expected to be ready until late 1995 at the earliest (References 625-631).
The Chinese Meteorological Administration (CMA) launched FY-2B to 105 degrees East longitude on 10 June 1997 on a CZ-3 booster from Xichang, and the satellite began regular service late in 1997. On 8 April 1998, FY-2 ceased transmission of images due to a problem with the S-band antenna on the spacecraft.FY-2 satellite data is open for international users. User stations covered by FY-2A can receive S-VISSR high resolution digital data and WEFAX low resolution analogue data from FY-2A.