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World-class space industry to be built in 7 years
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China aims to attain the world level in space technology development by building a comprehensive aerospace industry by 2015, the country's Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC) said on Friday.

According to a blueprint released by the state-owned company, CASTC was to set up four more scientific research and production bases including Tianjin, Inner Mongolia and Hainan. The move would enable China to have eight space industry bases nationwide.

At present, it has four bases respectively in Beijing, Shanghai, Shanxi and Sichuan.

"The new format will benefit the local economy and society, especially when it becomes part of the strategic development of north China's Bohai region, south China's Pearl River Delta, and the country's western area," said Ma Xingrui, the space group general manager.

CASTC's chief goal was to provide a package of service to its customers, including research, production, testing and other technology and services.

"By 2015, the CASTC would take up 10 percent of the international commercial satellite market, and 15 percent of the world commercial space launch service market," the blueprint said.

In May last year, the company sent a Nigerian communication satellite into space, creating a breakthrough for China satellite exports.

According to the CASTC 2015 planning, China would also launch services in fields such as satellite management, capital investment related to the space industry, and aerospace information software, among others.

Founded in 1999, CASTC has served as the leading research and production group to build up the country's aerospace and missile systems.

Through last year, it had carried out 50 successful spacecraft launches via its Long March series of rocket carriers, sending 43 domestically-developed satellites, six spaceships and one lunar probe into orbit.

Upon the completion of two manned space trips in 2003 and 2005, respectively, the next trip, the Shenzhou VII, is expected to be launched in October.

(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2008)

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