Space Industry Progressing Rapidly

China is speeding up its aerospace industry and plans to launch more projects concerning rockets, satellites, spacecraft, exploration of planets and outer space, according to a senior aerospace official in Beijing.

Luan Enjie, director of the State Aerospace Bureau, said Thursday at a meeting that his bureau will push the development of space technology, space utilization and space science in civil sectors, promoting the country's economic and social development and national defense.

The meeting was held to mark the first anniversary of the release of the White Paper on China's Aerospace Development.

China has achieved outstanding results in many space programs, including launching satellites and rockets, and outer space exploration. Meanwhile, space technology has produced tools which are transforming weather forecasting, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance, education, medicine, agriculture and a wide range of other activities.

At present, China's research on recoverable satellites, soft- landing technology and micro-gravitation has entered a more mature testing stage. China is now carrying out space breeding and life resources observation.

In the field of space physics, China has set up a small ground- level laboratory to study physical changes in the universe under artificial high-temperatures and densities by means of laser induced plasma.

The country plans to send an additional 30 satellites into outer space in the next five years with the aim of accelerating the development of the space industry, according to bureau sources.

The satellites, with improved quality and function, will be used in fields such as telecommunications, weather forecasting, environmental protection and navigation.

New carrier rockets, satellites and even manned space flights will be the development priorities of China's space industry in the early years of the 21st century.

On top of the agenda will be a new-type carrier rocket which is not only more powerful but also environmentally-friendly, said Min, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Efforts will also focus on the development of new types of remote-sensing, communications and navigation satellites, in addition to manned space flight.

To date, China has successfully developed and launched 48 satellites, with a success rate of 90 percent.

China launched and recovered its second unmanned spacecraft, the Shenzhou II, earlier this year following its maiden space flight in late 1999. China is also preparing to carry out manned flights, Luan said.

As outer space exploration inspires people and leads to technologies that can benefit all people, China will continue to support outer space research and cooperation with other countries in this field, including a planet-probe program with the European Space Agency and cooperation on two earth resources satellites with Brazil, according to Luan.

Data from China's self-developed resources satellite and meteorological satellite have become an indispensable part of the data bank of the international satellite network shared by all countries.

China's exploration and utilization of space, the so-called "fourth frontier" of mankind, has been encouraging and promising as the country is improving its aerospace technology and the national strength.

Experts claim that the increasing population and the decreasing resources on the earth have made it necessary to seek new living space and resources in outer space.

China's space research will focus on the moon and outer space, Luan disclosed at the China Industrial Hi-tech Forum last October. His bureau has just launched a project cooperating with its European counterpart to make breakthroughs in exploring the moon in the next decade or longer.

The plan was initially made public when the Chinese government released the White Paper. According to the plan, China will launch moon probes from Long March carrier rockets on the basis of applied technology development.

Since the launch of its first man-made satellite in 1971, China has established itself near the top in the world in terms of aerospace technology, with a full set of carrier rockets and applied satellites, and a related research and development center and production base.

(People's Daily November 25,2001)

In This Series

Moon Trip to Fill Void in Space History

China to Launch its Most Costly Space Explorer

Manned Spaceflight Project to Be Launched

Space Academy Marks Birthday

China and Europe Agree on Satellite Project

China to Develop New Rocket Satellites for Civil Spaceflight

China to Launch INTELSAT Satellite

Nation to Launch Satellites to Predict Storms in Space

New Rockets to Propel Country's Space Program

Expert on China's Space Industry in Early 21st Century

Four Astronauts Trained for Space Flight

Shenzhou II Lifts off



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