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Thread: China's future space plans

  1. #211
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    China just published a roadmap for its rocket development from from 2017 to 2045. This includes a nuclear-powered space shuttle.

    https://gbtimes.com/china-sets-out-l...-space-shuttle

    Following this, CASC has set 2035 as the target for full reusability for its launch vehicles, following the trails being blazed by US companies SpaceX and Blue Origin.

    By 2040, a next generation of launch vehicles will be put into operation, capable of multiple interplanetary round-trips, exploiting space resources through asteroid mining and constructing megaprojects such as a space-based solar power station.

    Another target explicitly mentioned for 2040 is a nuclear-powered space shuttle, though no details are revealed.

    By 2045 these developments, if achieved, will position China as the world leader in aerospace, according to Lu Yu, a senior official with CASC.

    The roadmap appeared in Chinese media today, coinciding with the founding of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), a CASC subsidiary, 60 years ago.

  2. #212
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    Andrew Jones on China's future space plans.

    https://gbtimes.com/long-march-6-lau...e-space-trends

    In a new development, the Long March 6 maker, the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST), a subsidiary of CASC which is the main contractor for the Chinese space programme, last week announced it would be taking two steps towards launch vehicle reusability involving the launch vehicle.

    First would be testing grid fins, akin to those used by SpaceX's Falcon 9, on a Long March 4B launch vehicle to control landing, followed by vertical landing tests with the Long March 6 in 2020.

    Following this, the second step would be to develop a fully reusable rocket with engines using methane and liquid oxygen propellant.

  3. #213
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    China to launch 4 more weather satellites before 2021.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20..._136754270.htm

    China plans to put four more Fengyun-3 meteorological satellites into orbit between 2018 and 2021, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC) announced Wednesday.

    The Fengyun-3, including a morning orbit satellite, an afternoon orbit satellite and a precipitation measuring satellite, will form a network of low-orbit meteorological satellites to enhance the monitoring of atmospheric humidity and temperature, greenhouse gases, wind fields and precipitation, said Zhou Xubin with the CASTC.

  4. #214
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    We know about LM5 and LM9 that will be able to launch 20 tons and 70 tons to LEO respectively. But now we get this news.

    http://english.cctv.com/2017/12/25/A...id171225.shtml

    China will begin testing the world's largest solid-propellant rocket engine in February, according to a senior space scientist interviewed on Sunday.

    Liang Jiqiu, chief designer of Kuaizhou rockets at China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, the nation's largest missile-maker, described the engine as having a diameter of over 4 meters and a liftoff thrust of more than 1,000 metric tons.

    Until now, the largest solid-propellant rocket in the world - developed by Orbital ATK Inc in the United States - has a diameter of 3.7 meters, he said.

    Engineers were required to overcome a host of technical obstacles because China had never developed such a large and sophisticated solid-propellant rocket and there were some gaps in their knowledge of structure, materials and mechanics, Liang said.

    Tests of components have now been completed and engineers are assembling an engine for ignition tests, he said.

    The engine will be used with Kuaizhou 21 and Kuaizhou 31 rockets, both new-generation models under development at CASIC. Kuaizhou 21 will be capable of sending a 20-ton spacecraft to low Earth orbit while Kuaizhou 31 will be able to transport a 70-ton payload, he said.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2017-Dec-26 at 04:05 PM.

  5. #215
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    2018 is going to be a busy year for China's space remote sensing development.

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._136853544.htm

    China will make more efforts in space remote sensing development in 2018 and prepare for the launch of Gaofen-7 high-resolution remote sensing satellite, said director of the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASMG).

    The goal of the Gaofen series is to provide all-weather, 24-hour services covering the entire globe.

    China will also promote the research and development of Ziyuan III 03 and 04 satellites in the new year, said Kuresh Mahsut, the director, at a national work conference on Tuesday.

    Citing a national plan on civil space infrastructure (2015-2025),scientists said that seven cartographic satellites including Gaofen-7 will be used in updating maps, resource investigation, urban and rural planning, environmental protection and early warning of disasters.

  6. #216
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    Part of China's future plans is to get the youth interested in STEM. An example is -

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._136902466.htm

    China's first nano-satellite with primary and middle school students involved in the development and building process will be launched into space Friday.

    The satellite, named after late Premier Zhou Enlai, was sent from its production base in Huai'an Youth Comprehensive Development Base in east China's Jiangsu Province to Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province Monday, where a CZ-11 solid fuel rocket is scheduled to put it into orbit Friday.

    Twenty teenagers who participated in the development project accompanied the transport group to the launch center and will witness the lift-off.

    Zhang Xiang, chief designer of the satellite, said that the nano-satellite, weighing 2 kilograms, is set to run in sun-synchronous orbit. Equipped with a HD optical camera, it can capture space photos with the highest resolution among those shot by other Chinese satellites for scientific education purpose.

    Zhang said that the students had taken their spare time to join the development and groundbased simulation performance of the satellite, and had learnt to assemble and practice voice data transfer and telecommunication applications.

    "A scientific satellite like this is like a teacher in space, carrying cameras or spectroscopes to study the upper atmosphere or to shoot space pictures of the stars. Students can grasp the mystery of the universe through the messages transmitted by the teacher," said Zhang, a professor with Nanjing University of Science and Engineering.

  7. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Part of China's future plans is to get the youth interested in STEM. An example is -

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._136902466.htm
    The satellite has been launched successfully.

    https://gbtimes.com/long-march-11-ro...nadian-cubesat

    A 2 kg nano-satellite which involved primary and middle school students in the development and building process piggybacked on the launch. The Huai'an satellite was named after former premier Zhou Enlai.

  8. #218
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    A 8 minute video of China's future space plans.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA4GKlSrlW0

    China is set to send a radical probe to the far side of the moon this year, it has been claimed.The mission is the latest in a string of space breakthrough for China.The new Chang'e 4 space mission will launch in June, when a Long March 4C rocket will carry a 425kg relay satellite and place it 60,000km behind the moon.According to the Chongqing Morning Post, a container filled with seeds and insect eggs will be attached to Chang'e 4, China's second lunar lander, and will be sent to the Moon in 2018. The container, which is made from special aluminium alloy, will demonstrate the growing process of plants and animals on the Moon. It will also provide valuable data and experience for the future establishment of eco-bases on other planets. 'The container will send potatoes, arabidopsis seeds and silkworm eggs to the surface of the Moon. The eggs will hatch into silkworms, which can produce carbon dioxide, while the potatoes and seeds emit oxygen through photosynthesis. Together, they can establish a simple ecosystem on the Moon,' Zhang Yuanxun, chief designer of the container, told the Chongqing Morning Post.A second launch later in the year will send a lander and rover to the far side of the moon, which will be guided to a safe landing by the satellite.It will be the first ever landing on the lunar far side, an unexplored region of the Moon called South Pole-Aitken Basin, a vast basin in the southern hemisphere of the far side which extends from the South Pole to Aitken crater.The rover will also contain a 'gardening kit' to pave the way for a human outpost by examining how plants grow on the lunar surface.'The Chinese are pushing back the frontier with such a technically challenging mission,' says Brian Harvey, space analyst and author of China in Space: The Great Leap Forward, told The Guardian.

  9. #219
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    China recognizes they have a problem with their launches from their inland space ports. They are now looking at options to overcome them.

    https://gbtimes.com/china-aims-to-ea...d-sea-launches

    In January a Long March 3B rocket lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, tasked with sending two Beidou navigation satellites into medium Earth orbit.

    Minutes later, a strapon booster separated from the first stage, falling some 700 kilometres downrange of the launch site, narrowly avoiding the town of Xiangdu in Tiandeng county, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and exploding on impact.

    On Monday, another Long March 3B launch of Beidou satellites saw another booster hit a building, this time in Tianlin county. Neither incident was a complete accident - both boosters fell within planned, designated zones. No-one was hurt, with the building in the latter case having been evacuated ahead of time.

    Such incidents do not take place in the United States or Europe, which launch from the coast or from French Guiana, seeing rockets mostly fly over the Atlantic. However, China's first three launch sites were established during the times of deep security concern during the Cold War, with tensions with the Soviet Union spilling over into border skirmishes and the United States considering preemptive strikes against China on sites linked to nuclear weapon launch capabilities.

  10. #220
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    The Diplomat carries a review of China's current and future space plans.

    https://thediplomat.com/2018/02/chin...on-and-beyond/

    China’s space program dates back to the 1950s, when China first started developing its own missiles, modeled on those of the USSR, but some would argue that the space age was actually born in China, citing its use of “fire arrows” in the 13th century as the first example of rockets. Mao Zedong himself was impressed by the launch of Sputnik in 1957 and wanted China to move forward quickly in the development of satellites. But these plans were postponed and it was not until 1970 that China launched its first small satellite, long after the United States and Russia.

    An ambitious program, including the launch of astronauts to space, was approved by Mao Zedong, Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, and Minister of Defense Lin Biao in 1970, but, in the turbulent political context of the 1970s, it was canceled in 1978 by Deng Xiaoping, who was back to power. Deng had a very pragmatic view of the interest of space and focused the Chinese space program on practical applications, leading to the launch of the first Chinese telecommunications satellite in 1984. Since then China has successfully developed civilian and military applications, including telecommunications, remote sensing, meteorology, and navigation. However, with the rising geopolitical posture of the country, more prestige-oriented projects, in lunar and deep space exploration, and human spaceflight, were promoted in the 1990s, including the approval, in September 1992, of an orbital space station as the main goal of the program.

    As a result, despite China’s late entry into space exploration – the first Chinese astronaut was not sent into space until 2003 – it has caught up lately at an impressive rate. By 2017, 11 taikonauts (a term used for Chinese astronauts) had successfully orbited the Earth, demonstrating China’s growing participation in space. In 2013, China landed the Jade Rabbit rover on the moon, representing the first time that a robot had landed on the moon’s surface in nearly half a century.

  11. #221
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    This year, of the 4 spaceports that China operates, Xichang space centre will be busiest with 17 launches.

    https://gbtimes.com/xichang-space-ce...-moon-missions

    The Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwest of China will host a Long March 3 rocket launch on average every 26 days during 2018, including a major lunar mission and multiple Beidou satellite launches, with total launches from the site potentially reaching 17.

    Long March 3 variants will launch 14 times this year, with 10 of these to carry Beidou navigation and positioning satellites, and eight of these missions lofting pairs of Beidou satellites to medium Earth orbits (MEO), according to a new report by CCTV news (Chinese) offering further into China's typically opaque launch calendar.

  12. #222
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    China this year will be launching the 1st of their 300 satellite constellation to provide global communication services.

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._136994815.htm

    "China will establish a constellation of more than 300 low-orbit satellites to provide global communication services, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced Friday.

    The first satellite of the Hongyan constellation is set to be launched this year, CASC said."

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  13. #223
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    China is speeding up its research on commercial use of rocket upper stages.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ch...ttles_999.html

    China will accelerate research and commercial use of rocket upper stages, a carrier rocket official said on Friday.

    "The Yuanzheng rocket upper stage family will have a new member, Yuanzheng-1S, this year, serving launches for low and medium Earth orbit satellites," said Wang Mingzhe, an upper stage architect of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).

  14. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    China is speeding up its research on commercial use of rocket upper stages.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ch...ttles_999.html
    Slightly better explanation in this article. The Yuanzheng-1S is designed to capture the growing market market for small satellites.

    http://www.atimes.com/article/china-...ce-technology/

    China will accelerate research and commercial use of rocket upper stages, a carrier rocket official said on Friday.

    "The Yuanzheng rocket upper stage family will have a new member, Yuanzheng-1S, this year, serving launches for low and medium Earth orbit satellites," said Wang Mingzhe, an upper stage architect of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).

    Upper stages are independent aircraft installed on the carrier rocket that are capable of restarting their engines multiple times in space to allow them to send different payloads to varying orbits.

  15. #225
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    Andrew Jones on China's ambitious launch schedule for this year.

    https://gbtimes.com/chinese-space-la...-space-program

    New details of China's ambitious launch plans for 2018 have been divulged, along with updates on the progress of new medium and super-heavy Long March launch vehicles.

    Li Hong, president of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the major space launch vehicle manufacturer in China and a subordinate of the main space contractor, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), revealed the details in an interview with state media.

    According to Li, China plans to launch 36 Long March rockets in 2018, up from 16 last year and the current national record of 22 set in 2016.

    Other, expected commercial Chinese launches mean the country could see over 40 orbital launches this year.

  16. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    More details are emerging on China's Shenzhou's replacement. While it is still at the conceptual stage, we it least get some idea of what the Chinese scientist are thinking.

    http://www.popsci.com/what-will-next...study-explores
    https://gbtimes.com/china-is-develop...-space-program

    We talked about it two and a half years ago and now some of the R&D is showing results. The next test will be next year on top of the 1st flight of the Long March 5B.

    The next test flight for the new crewed spacecraft has now been confirmed for June 2019, when the Long March 5B, a launch vehicle designed to loft space station modules into low Earth orbit, has its test launch.

    It is unknown what version or scale of the craft will be flown, or how it will be recovered.

    The reentry modules will be designed to be able to be recovered from the sea, as with Apollo capsules, relevant training for which China's astronauts - along with Europeans Sam Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer - trained for last August.

  17. #227
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    China hopes to launch a commercial recoverable satellite service by 2020.

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._137046346.htm

    China will launch its first commercial recoverable satellite between 2019 and 2020, an official with the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) has said.

    Recoverable satellites are an important part of China's space capabilities and are highly reliable, CAST President Zhang Hongtai, told China Central Television earlier this week.

    China has successfully retrieved more than 20 recoverable satellites since 1975. The same technology has helped Chinese astronauts return from space, he said.

  18. #228
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    The article covers a lt of the things China hopes to do in the next 3 decades.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ch...-us-2018-01-24

    If you read my articles regularly, you’re probably familiar with the plans NASA and privately owned SpaceX have for the near future. We could land on the Moon again and create a stepping stone for an upcoming mission to Mars. Once on the red planet, astronauts would aim to set up a base, create colonies and eventually terraform the planet.

    The U.S. isn’t the only country with this plan, however. Russia’s project starts with MARPOST, a manned orbital mission of the planet planned for 2021 (though it will send robots, not humans, to the surface). The European Space Agency’s lofty plans, named the Aurora program, include robotic exploration, proof-of-concept simulation of sustaining humans on Mars, and finally, a manned mission by 2033, though delays and modifications to the original vision means it’s unclear whether it will indeed result in human or robot-only exploration.

    However, there’s another important player in this space odyssey that has not only ambitious aspirations, but also the money to fulfill them: China. It has said it intends to send a probe to Mars in 2020 that will not only orbit the planet but also land a rover on it.

  19. #229
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    Insights gained from updates on various aspects of China’s space program, by dozens of space sector officials in the high-profile China’s legislature.

    http://spacenews.com/chinese-space-p...ples-congress/

    China’s legislature wrapped up its annual session in Beijing in mid-March after making headlines for lifting a two-term limit on the Chinese presidency, making Xi Jinping the People’s Republic’s most powerful leader since founder Mao Zedong.

    But in the shadow of the major political stories, the involvement of dozens of space sector officials in the high-profile 18-day long rubber-stamp political gathering also provided a rare opportunity for updates on various aspects of China’s space program and an outline of its reliably nebulous scheduling.

    The first big announcement was the return-to-flight for the Long March 5 — the new, heavy-lift rocket that is crucial to major near and medium-term Chinese space plans. The launcher debuted successfully in late 2016 but suffered an apparent first stage issue shortly after launch second time out, last July.

  20. #230
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    China is aiming to have a reusable space shuttle ready for test flights in 2030.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Tec...anned-for-2030

    "Technological advances have brought space development into the commercialization phase in a range of fields," Chairman Gao Hongwei told Nikkei in a written interview. The company will partner with aircraft maker Aviation Industry Corp. of China and rocket builder China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. in the country's aerospace push.

    Developing a "spaceplane" shuttle -- which can take off and land horizontally, like an airplane, unlike American shuttles that blasted off vertically using rockets -- is one of CASIC's key commercial projects. The company sees the craft carrying out operations including satellite launches, space travel and resupplying space stations.

    According to Chinese media, the spaceplane would consist of two winged vehicles: a large carrier for launching and a smaller one for spaceflight, which rides atop the launch craft. The carrier would fly the smaller vehicle to an altitude of 30km to 40km before separating and landing, while its companion would carry on up to space, fulfill its duties and finally return to Earth.

  21. #231
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    "China outlines roadmap for deep space exploration"

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._137136188.htm

    China is planning four deep space exploration missions before 2030, including probes to Mars, asteroids and Jupiter, says Pei Zhaoyu, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration.

  22. #232
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    China hopes to have reusable rockets as early as 2020.

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1099856.shtml

    China will master rocket recycling technology on its new CZ-8 carrier rocket by 2020 and challenge the US monopoly in the field, China Media Group reported on Thursday.

    A Chinese expert said that if the agenda can be realized on time, China will become the world's second rocket power to master the technology, offering the prospect of a reduction in cost for carrier rockets.

    At an aerospace industry seminar on Tuesday, leading Chinese carrier rocket designer Long Lehao said that China is expected to realize vertical recycling - similar to the technology employed by US-based firm SpaceX - by 2020 at the earliest on its CZ-8 rockets. This will further lower the price tag of a launch and boost China's chances of getting international commercial satellite launch orders, the CCTV report said.

  23. #233
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    China is developing an in-orbit satellite transport vehicle

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._137335852.htm

    China is developing a space vehicle to help transport orbiting satellites that have run out of fuel, Science and Technology Daily reported Thursday.

    Fuel is a key factor limiting the life of satellites. Most satellites function for years after entering orbit, but eventually, they have to end their missions and burn up into the atmosphere due to fuel exhaustion.

    The vehicle is being developed by an academy affiliated to the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. The carrier, instead of refueling the satellite, will use a robotic arm to dock with it, and will then carry the satellite to maintain its original orbit.

  24. #234
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    China wins contract to launch 90 satellites.

    http://www.cgwic.com/news/2019/20190115.html

    China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) today announced a Multiple Launch Services Agreement (MLA) with Satellogic, the world's first vertically integrated geospatial analytics company. CGWIC will launch 90 of Satellogic's spacecraft from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The first launch – scheduled for later this year – will deliver a dedicated payload of 13 of Satellogic's spacecraft to Low Earth Orbit on a Long March 6 (LM-6) rocket.
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  25. #235
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    This week's "The Space Review" carries an article looking at what next after Chang'e-4.

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3639/1

    The world is following China’s Chang’e-4 landing on the far side of the Moon as an historic first for humanity. However, missing from most analyses is the rather unique nature of this landing for China’s long-term space ambitions and goals. Most have tended to view this as just another show-off stunt by China, or focused on the probe carrying out abstract science experiments.

    While all that is important, what is critical to realize is that the Chang’e-4 is a unique demonstration of Chinese capabilities in spaceflight, including establishing access to and surveying the lunar farside, as well as searching for lunar resources. These all support its long-term ambition of building a research base on the Moon. And Chang’e-4 is only the first step. Sun Zezhou, chief designer of the Chang'e-4 probe from the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), stated:

    If we want to build a scientific research station on the moon, we will need to land multiple probes within the same area so that they can be assembled easily into a complex, which requires even greater landing accuracy…So solving the challenges of the Chang'e-4 mission can lay the foundation for the following lunar exploration and future landing on other planets.

    For China, the Moon is a means to an end to build industrial capacity on the lunar surface to then accomplish its goals of asteroid mining and deep space exploration and exploitation. A research base on the Moon, with industrial capacity to build and support spacecraft using lunar resources, such as water for rocket propellant, will bring down costs of interplanetary travel.
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    The nuclear shuttle is interesting. With CZ-9--if may resemble our defunct concept
    https://www.wired.com/2012/09/nuclea...-studies-1971/

  27. #237
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    This weeks Diplomat magazine carries n article on China's future space plans.

    https://thediplomat.com/2019/02/chin...space-program/

    2049 is an important year for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). That year, the PRC (established in 1949), will celebrate its 100th birthday. Consequently, past and current Chinese leaders have set two interrelated centennial goals: By 2021, the year the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding, China will aim to become a “moderately prosperous society in all respects,” and double its GDP per capita from its 2010 level ($7,924). By 2049, China will be a “fully developed, rich and powerful” nation, leading in outer space, artificial intelligence (AI) and innovation. President Xi Jinping has specified that China’s space program, part of the national rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, has a critical role in achieving these two interrelated goals.

    Unlike NASA, which is aimed at space exploration and space science missions, China’s space program is aimed at long-term wealth creation for the Chinese nation, by utilizing a space-based economy. The global space economy today is worth $350 billion but is predicted to be worth $2.7 trillion by 2040. Added to this is the significant economic potential from future space mining. Scientists infer that a small platinum-rich asteroid, just 200 meters in length, could be worth $30 billion. Asteroid 2011 UW158, which sailed at a distance of 1.5 million miles from Earth in July 2015, was worth an estimated $5 trillion in platinum.

    Given this, China’s space goals depart from the “flags and footprints” model that dominated the age of the Apollo missions. As per its white paper on space activities, published in 2016, China’s space program is an integral part of its national economic rejuvenation and development goals. Talking to Shenzhou-10 astronauts onboard the Tiangong-1 space station in 2013, Xi emphasized, “The space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger. With the development of space programs, the Chinese people will take bigger strides to explore further into space.” On April 24, 2016, China’s first space day to memorialize the country’s opening satellite launch (April 24, 1970), Xi noted that “to explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is a dream we pursue unremittingly.”
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  28. #238
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    "China’s Future Space Ambitions: What’s Ahead?"

    https://thediplomat.com/2019/11/chin...s-whats-ahead/

    On October 1, 2019 China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). President Xi Jinping took the opportunity to proclaim that “no force will stop or shake China or its people from achieving its goals” of becoming the primary global power.

    Outer space is an integral part of Xi’s China dream of broadcasting Chinese power and influence, and a critical component of his Civil-Military Integration Strategy. Consequently, by October 1, 2049, when China celebrates its 100th year of existence, outer space presence and military space capacity will play a key role.

    So, what should we expect from China in outer space over the next 30 years?
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  29. #239
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    "Countdown starts for China’s big mutant crop space mission in race for food security"

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/scie...sion-race-food

    China plans to launch a recoverable satellite that will carry half a tonne of life forms into space to see if better crops can be produced there, according to scientists involved.
    The “passengers” on the satellite, which could be launched early next year, will include more than 240kg (530lbs) of seeds and plants, as well as other forms of life such as bacteria.
    It forms part of the world’s largest single experiment so far into inducing biological mutation with cosmic radiation, according to Chinese government researchers.
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