Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (5)

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/12/27 10:24:52

III. Major Tasks for the Next Five Years

In the next five years China plans to expedite the development of its space endeavors by continuing to enhance the basic capacities of its space industry, strengthen research into key and cutting-edge technologies, and implement manned spaceflight, lunar exploration, the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, high-resolution earth observation system, new-generation launch vehicles and other important projects. Furthermore, the country is to launch new key scientific and technological programs and major projects, complete, by and large, its space infrastructure system, expand its space applications in breadth and depth, and further conduct research into space science, promoting the integrated development of space science, technology and applications.

1. Space transport system

We will develop and launch medium-lift launch vehicles which are non-toxic and pollution-free, improve the new-generation launch vehicle family, and enhance their reliability.

Endeavors will be made to research key technologies and further study the plans for developing heavy-lift launch vehicles. Breakthroughs are expected in key technologies for the overall system, high-thrust liquid oxygen and kerosene engines, and oxygen and hydrogen engines of such launch vehicles. Thereafter the heavy-lift launch vehicle project will be activated.

China will conduct research into the technologies for low-cost launch vehicles, new upper stage and the reusable space transportation system between the earth and low-earth orbit.

2. Space infrastructure

China is to improve its satellite systems and their basic related items, develop the three major satellite systems of remote-sensing, communications and broadcasting, and navigation and positioning, and build a space-ground integrated information network. In this way, a space infrastructure system capable of providing steady and sustained services will take shape, boosting the satellite and related applications industrial sector.

(1) Satellite remote-sensing system. In accordance with the policy guideline for developing multi-functional satellites, and creating networks of satellites and integrating them, we will focus on three series of satellites for observing the land, ocean and atmosphere, respectively. China is to develop and launch satellites capable of high-resolution multi-mode optical observation, L-band differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar imaging, carbon monitoring of the territorial ecosystem, atmospheric Lidar detection, ocean salinity detection and new-type ocean color observation. We will take steps to build our capabilities of highly efficient, comprehensive global observation and data acquisition with a rational allocation of low-, medium- and high-spatial resolution technologies, and an optimized combination of multiple observation methods. China will make overall construction and improvement on remote-sensing satellite receiving station networks, calibration and validation fields, data centers, data-sharing platforms and common application supporting platforms to provide remote-sensing satellite data receiving services across the world.

(2) Satellite communications and broadcasting system. This system is oriented toward industrial and market applications, and mainly operates through business models while meeting public welfare needs. China will develop both fixed and mobile communications and broadcasting as well as data relay satellites, build a space-ground integrated information network consisting of space-based systems such as high-earth-orbit broadband satellite systems and low-earth-orbit mobile satellite systems, and ground-based systems such as satellite-access stations. TT&C stations, gateway stations, uplink stations, calibration fields and other satellite ground facilities are to be built synchronously. These efforts are expected to bring about a comprehensive system capable of providing broadband communications, fixed communications, direct-broadcast television, mobile communications and mobile multimedia broadcast services. A global satellite communications and broadcasting system integrated with the ground communications network will be established step by step.

(3) Satellite navigation system. China is to continuously enhance the service capacities of the Beidou-2. With sustained efforts in building the Beidou global system, we plan to start providing basic services to countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-century Maritime Silk Road in 2018, form a network consisting of 35 satellites for global services by 2020, and provide all clients with more accurate and more reliable services through advancing the ground-based and satellite-based augmentation systems in an integrated way.

3. Manned spaceflight

China plans to launch the Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft to dock with the earth-orbiting Tiangong-2 space laboratory, and research and master key technologies for cargo transport and replenishment to accumulate experience in building and operating a space station.

We aim to complete the main research and development work on the space station modules, and start assembly and operation of the space station.

We strive to acquire key technologies and conduct experiments on such technologies to raise our manned spaceflight capacity, laying a foundation for exploring and developing cislunar space.

4. Deep-space exploration

China will continue its lunar exploration project, and strive to attain the automated extraterrestrial sampling and returning technology by space explorers. We plan to fulfill the three strategic steps of "orbiting, landing and returning" for the lunar exploration project by launching the Chang' e-5 lunar probe by the end of 2017 and realizing regional soft landing, sampling and return. We will launch the Chang'e-4 lunar probe around 2018 to achieve mankind' s first soft landing on the far side of the moon, and conduct in situ and roving detection and relay communications at earth-moon L2 point. Through the lunar exploration project, topographic and geological surveys will be implemented and laboratory research conducted on lunar samples; geological survey and research as well as low-frequency radio astronomy observation and research will be carried out targeting the landing area on the far side of the moon for a better understanding of the formation and evolution of the moon.

China intends to execute its first Mars exploration operation, and grasp key technologies for orbiting, landing and roving exploration. It plans to launch the first Mars probe by 2020 to carry out orbiting and roving exploration. It will conduct further studies and key technological research on the bringing back of samples from Mars, asteroid exploration, exploration of the Jupiter system and planet fly-by exploration. When conditions allow, related projects will be implemented to conduct research into major scientific questions such as the origin and evolution of the solar system, and search for extraterrestrial life. (more)

Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (1)

Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (2)

Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (3)

Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (4)

Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (6)

Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (7)

Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (8)

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