Space industry of China

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As of 1998, the Long March series of carrier rockets developed by China for commercial spaceflight included Long March 1, Long March 2, Long March 2C, Long March 3, Long March 4 and Long March E (Strap-on). The series has successfully launched a range of satellites with such applications as scientific exploration and technological experiment, remote sensing, meteorology, telecommunications and broadcasting. China has successfully made 44 space launches, and 50 man-made earth satellites were launched, including 17 from countries such as the US, Sweden, Australia, Pakistan, the Philippines, etc. China is at or near world levels in some important sectors of space technology.

For example, China is the third country capable of recovering satellites. China has mastered low-temperature and high-efficiency rocket technology, at the cutting edge of the technology. Rocket strap-on technology is one of the techniques necessary in developing large scale launch vehicles, and China has employed such technique since developing the large carrier rocket "Long March-2E". The initial "Long March 2E" was successfully launched in 1990. China is also one of the few countries capable of launching geostationary satellites, as well as launching more multiple satellites with only one rocket. China has formed a satellite observing and controlling network, the main part of which is the Xi'an Satellite Center, which handles observation and communication, and which also includes a dozen of surface-based observing stations and ocean-going tracking and measuring ships. At the same time, three satellite launch centers have been established in Jiuquan, Taiyuan and Xichang, which are capable of fulfilling the launch of various kinds of Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, sun-synchronous satellites and geosynchronous satellites. China has made worthy contributions in the peaceful development of space technology.

By early 1994, a whole set of systems had been formed for the design, development, manufacturing and testing of satellites. Among the 270,000 employees, 40,000 are senior professionals, and 30 percent are engineers and researchers.

In 1994, in order to improve quality assurance, China Aviation Company pronounced March 22 "Aerospace Quality Day" to ensure problems do not arise in technology and management.

In 1996, China promoted a "responsible project managers system" in satellite development. Project managers are responsible for making technological decisions, directing administration, discipline and praise as well as domestic centralized project coordinating. This is an important reform in the managing mechanism of Chinese space technology.

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