Scientist eyes commercial launch center
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