The mature spaceflight monitoring and controlling network China has developed on its own has reached advanced world levels, Yu Zhijian, chief designer of the system for monitoring manned space flight, told Xinhua today.
"Advanced in all technical indices and with a complete range of functions, the spaceflight monitoring and controlling network is capable of real-time transmission of voice, TV images and data that ensure face-to-face communications between the cosmonauts and ground controllers and at the same time of timely measuring the flying state of spaceships, said Yu, who has been engaging in the designing of spaceflight monitoring and controlling system since 1999 when China launched its first "Shenzhou" spacecraft.
The network is capable of providing monitoring and controlling support services for more than 20 satellites and spaceships simultaneously, Yu said.
The monitoring and controlling system also has the capabilities of hooking up with the international monitoring and controlling networks, he said. The monitoring and controlling center may use computers and digital communications links to connect to the S-frequency monitoring and controlling networks of other countries and realize the sharing of international monitoring resources.
China has deployed 13 monitoring and controlling stations and ships in other parts of the world, which cover all key orbits in the lifting, flying, orbit shifting and returning stages, Yu noted.
"China's territory is not as long as that of Russia, thus making it impossible for China to deploy monitoring stations anywhere in any country," Yu Zhijian said. "But, the monitoring network developed on our own is very rational in structure and distribution and less costly, bearing distinct Chinese characteristics."
Chinese scientists are thinking of expanding the land- and ocean-based monitoring network into space, Yu disclosed, adding that "One satellite put on an orbit 40,000 kilometers from the Earth will cover 50 percent of the Earth and two will cover 85 percent."
(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2003)