BEIJING, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- China is likely to
double the life expectancy of its homemade satellites by 2010, a vice minister
in charge of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National
Defence said on Sunday.
Sun Laiyan, also chief of the China National Space
Administration, said the country would strive to boost the life expectancy of
its satellite designs in sun-synchronous orbit to four to five years by the end
of the 11th Five-Year period (2006-2010). Currently, it is two to three years.
The life expectancy of satellites in geo-stationary
orbit is expected to nearly double to 15 years from eight years at present, Sun
said at the country's third civil space work conference.
He said the nation would strive to finish the
feasibility study of the second and third stages of its moon mission and its
joint mission to Mars with Russia within three years.
China, the third country to put a man in space,
launched its first lunar probe on Oct. 24. It was the first step of its
ambitious three-stage moon mission.
The mission is aiming for a moon landing and the
launch of a moon rover vehicle around 2012 in the second phase. In the following
phase, another rover will land on the moon and return to Earth with samples of
lunar soil and stone for scientific research around 2017.
Sun said homemade communications and broadcast
satellites were expected to replace foreign-made equipment that is currently
used by 2010.
During the period, China will have basically built a
monitoring and early-warning system for space environment and launch satellites
for disaster relief and the testing of new materials, technologies and
equipment, he added.