Sci­en­tist eyes com­mer­cial launch cen­ter

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICA -

Mar­ket value of space ac­tiv­i­ties is ex­pected to in­crease in com­ing years

a suit­able is­land off the coun­try’s east­ern coast.

“The advantages of a site in In­ner Mon­go­lia are that it can share the ex­ist­ing­ground con­trol and track­ing fa­cil­i­ties of the Ji­uquan Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter and that it has a small pop­u­la­tion,” he said, ex­plain­ing that a launch site must be far­frompop­u­lous ar­eas to en­sure safety.

A site in Hainan or an east­ern is­land will fea­ture low latitude, which will en­able rock­ets to save a lot of fuel and to carry more pay­loads, as well as a high level of safety be­cause most of the rocket’s bal­lis­tic tra­jec­tory will be above the sea, ac­cord­ing to the sci­en­tist.

De­spiteChi­na­havin­ga­long his­tory of space ex­plo­ration, al­most all of its space­flights have been made by the gov­ern­ment or the mil­i­tary, with no par­tic­i­pa­tion from the busi­ness sec­tor un­til re­cently.

Spurred by the rise of SpaceX and Or­bital ATK, and hav­ing seen lu­cra­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties in space-based ser­vices, the two State-owned space con­trac­tors, China Aero­space Sci­ence and In­dus­try Corp and China Aero­space Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Corp, have been al­lo­cat­ing a con­sid­er­able amount of re­sources to the com­mer­cial space sec­tor.

Zhang Di, vice-pres­i­dent of the CASIC Fourth Academy, said that by 2020, the mar­ket value of com­mer­cial space ac­tiv­i­ties in China will reach 30 bil­lion yuan ($4.6 bil­lion) each year.

Hu Shengyun, se­nior rocket de­signer

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