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Tuesday, December 27, 2016, 16:06

China issues white paper on space development

By Xinhua

China issues white paper on space development
The Long March 7is seen at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan province. (Xinhua photo)

BEIJING – China on Tuesday issued a white paper on the development of space industry since 2011 and major tasks for the next five years.

The white paper, titled "China's Space Activities in 2016," said that China always adheres to the principle of exploration and utilization of outer space for peaceful purposes.

The State Council Information Office issued the white paper.

The Chinese government takes the space industry as an important part of the nation's overall development strategy, and China has made great achievements since its space industry was established in 1956, it said.

Since 2011, China has seen smooth implementation of major projects, including manned spaceflight, lunar exploration, the BeiDou Navigation System and high-resolution earth observation system, it said.

According to the white paper, in the next five years, China will continue to enhance the basic capacities of its space industry, and strengthen research into key and cutting-edge technologies.

China issues white paper on space development
China on Tuesday issued a white paper on the development of space industry. (Xinhua photo)

The Chinese government holds that all countries in the world have equal rights to peacefully explore, develop and utilize outer space and its celestial bodies, the white paper said.

All countries' outer space activities should be beneficial to their economic development and social progress, and to the peace, security, survival and development of mankind, it added.

MARS PROBE

China plans to launch its first Mars probe by 2020 to carry out orbiting and roving exploration, said the white paper.

China intends to execute its first Mars exploration operation, and grasp key technologies for orbiting, landing and roving exploration

'China's Space Activities in 2016'

"China intends to execute its first Mars exploration operation, and grasp key technologies for orbiting, landing and roving exploration," said the document.

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, according to the white paper.

"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," it said.

SOFT LANDING ON MOON

The country will launch the Chang'e-4 lunar probe around 2018 to achieve mankind's first soft landing on the far side of the moon, said the white paper.

The Chang'e-4 lunar probe will "conduct in situ and roving detection and relay communications at earth-moon L2 point," according to the document.

China will continue its lunar exploration project in the next five years, and strive to attain the automated extraterrestrial sampling and returning technology by space explorers.

 China issues white paper on space development
This photo taken by the panoramic camera on the Yutu moon rover on Dec 22, 2013 shows the Chang'e-3 moon lander duringChang'e-3 lunar probe mission's first lunar day circle. (Photo / Xinhua)

It plans 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, according to the white paper.

Through the lunar exploration project, topographic and geological surveys will be implemented and laboratory research conducted on lunar samples, it said.

"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," it added.

HEAVY-LIFT VEHICLE PROJECT

China will activate the heavy-lift launch vehicle project in next five years, the white paper said.

"Endeavors will be made to research key technologies and further study the plans for developing heavy-lift launch vehicles," said the document.

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.

China will also 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, according to the white paper.

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

China issues white paper on space development
The Long March 5 was launched at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan province. (Xinhua photo)

GLOBAL SATELLITE NAVIGATION SERVICE

In addition, China plans to form a BeiDou network consisting of 35 satellites for global navigation services by 2020.

The country plans to start providing basic services to countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-century Maritime Silk Road in 2018, said the document.

China is to continuously enhance the service capacities of the BeiDou-2 in the next five years, according to the white paper.

It aims to provide all clients with more accurate and more reliable services through advancing the ground-based and satellite-based augmentation systems, it said.

 
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