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Full text: China's Space Activities in 2006 2006-10-12 10:26:18

 II. Progress Made in the Past Five Years


    From 2001 to 2005, China's space industry has developed rapidly, making many achievements. A group of research and development and testing bases of the advanced world level has been built, and the system of research, design, production and testing has been further improved, markedly enhancing the country's basic capabilities in space science and technology. With breakthroughs in important key technologies, the overall level of China's space technology has been improved remarkably. Having made a historic breakthrough in manned spaceflight, China has embarked on a comprehensive lunar exploration project. Space application systems have taken shape, the range of application has been further expanded, application benefits have been noticeably enhanced, and important achievements have been made in space scientific experiments and research in this regard.


    Space Technology


    1. Man-made satellites. Over the past five years, China has independently developed and launched 22 different types of man-made satellites, upgrading its overall level in this field markedly. On the basis of the four satellite series initially developed, China has developed two more satellite series, to bring the total to six -- the recoverable remote-sensing satellites, "DFH" (Dongfanghong, or The East is Red) telecommunications and broadcasting satellites, "FY" (Fengyun, or Wind and Cloud) meteorological satellites, "SJ" (Shijian, or Practice) scientific research and technological experiment satellites, "ZY" (Ziyuan, or Resources) Earth resource satellites, and "Beidou" (Plough) navigation and positioning satellites. In addition, the oceanic satellite series will come into being soon. China has speeded up the implementation of the plan to establish "a constellation of small satellites for environment and disaster monitoring and forecasting." Research and development of the payload of some new, high-performance satellites have been successful, and many application satellites have begun regular operation. The Fengyun Iand Fengyun II meteorological satellites have been listed by the World Meteorological Organization in the international satellite series for meteorological services. Important breakthroughs have been made in key technologies related to the common platform for big geostationary orbit satellites. Periodical achievements have been made in the research and development of large-capacity telecommunications and broadcasting satellites. Substantial progress has been made in the research and development, and application of small satellites.

    2. Launching vehicles. Over the past five years, "Long March" rockets independently developed by China have made 24 consecutive successful flights, and their major technological functions and reliability have been notably upgraded. From October 1996 to the end of 2005, "Long March" rockets made 46 consecutive successful flights. Important breakthroughs have been made in key technologies of the new-generation launching vehicles. Research and development of the 120-ton thrust liquid-oxygen/kerosene engine and the 50-ton thrust hydrogen-oxygen engine are proceeding smoothly.


Editor: Pliny Han
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