China Pledges to Build Space Satellite Network, Put Man in Space

Published November 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

China Wednesday spelled out its plans to be a major player in space with a policy White Paper shedding light on its ambitious program to wire the world with satellites and put a man on the moon.  

The 21,000 Chinese character paper, issued by Xinhua news agency, reviewed China's space achievements while laying out the future goals of manned space flight and a wide range of space-based research activities. 

The White Paper reiterated China's commitment to the "peaceful uses of space" and underlined the growing demand for space technology in economic construction. 

But it also suggested space played a key role in defence and national security, stressing the need to "protect China's national interests and build up the comprehensive national strength." 

"Short-term development targets (for the next decade) are ... to realize manned spaceflight and establish an initially complete research and development and testing system for manned space projects," the paper said. 

Space-based research would include "micro-gravity research, space material science, space life science, space environment, space astronomy and carrying out pre-study for outer space exploration centering on the exploration of the moon," it said. 

China also hoped to build up an "earth observation system" that would include meteorological, resource, oceanic and disaster-monitoring satellites able to "conduct stereoscopic observation and dynamic monitoring" of the whole globe, it said. 

An independent satellite navigation and positioning system would also be set up step-by-step to "eventually bring into being China's satellite navigation and positioning industry," it said. 

In order to realize such objects, the China National Space Administration would also oversee the building of a "new group of launch vehicles," ostensibly to replace the Long March series of rockets that China has so far used for its space activities. 

In the next 20 years, China would "achieve industrialization and marketization of space technology and space applications" and would "establish a multi-function and multi-orbit space infrastructure composed of various satellite systems," it said -- BEIJING (AFP)  




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