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Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2011 (3)

12-29-2011 11:35 BJT Special Report:China Issues White Paper on Space Exploration |

2. Man-made Earth Satellites

1) Earth observation satellites

China has developed Fengyun (Wind and Cloud), Haiyang (Ocean), Ziyuan (Resources), Yaogan (Remote-Sensing) and Tianhui (Space Mapping) satellite series, plus a constellation of small satellites for environmental and disaster monitoring and forecasting. Fengyun satellites are now capable of global, three-dimensional and multispectral quantitative observation. The Fengyun-2 geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) meteorological satellite succeeded in double satellite observation and in-orbit backup; while the Fengyun-3 polar orbit meteorological satellite succeeded in networking observation of morning and afternoon satellites. Ocean water color satellites have obtained their images of doubled width and their revisiting period reduced. The first Haiyang dynamics environmental satellite launched in August, 2011 is capable of all-weather and full-time microwave observation. The Ziyuan satellite series have seen their spatial resolution and image quality greatly enhanced. The small satellites for environmental and disaster monitoring and forecasting are now capable of disaster monitoring with medium-resolution, wide-coverage and high-revisit rate disaster monitoring. In 2010, China formally initiated the development of an important special project - a high-resolution Earth observation system.

2) Communications and broadcasting satellites

China has won successes in its high-capacity GEO satellite common platform, space-based data relays, tracking, telemetry and command (TT&C), and other key technologies, showing remarkable improvement in the technical performance of China's satellites and in voice, data, radio and television communications. The successful launch and stable operation of the Zhongxing-10 satellite demonstrated a significant increase in the power and capacity of China's communications and broadcasting satellites. Similarly, the successful launch of the Tianlian (Space Chain)-1 data relay satellite demonstrated China's preliminary capability of both space-based data relays and space-based TT&C.

3) Navigation and positioning satellites

In February 2007, China successfully launched the fourth Beidou (Bid Dipper) navigation experiment satellite, further enhancing the performance of the Beidou navigation experiment system. China has comprehensively launched the building of a Beidou regional navigation system, consisting of five GEO satellites, five inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) satellites and four medium-Earth-orbit (MEO) satellites. Since April 2007, China has launched 10 such satellites and has been able to provide trial services for Asia-Pacific users.

4) Scientific satellites and technological test satellites

China has developed and launched several Shijian (Practice) satellites and small and micro satellites, providing supporting platforms for space environment exploration, space scientific test and new technology demonstration.

3. Human Spaceflight

From September 25 to 28, 2008, China successfully launched the Shenzhou-7 (Divine Ship-7) manned spaceship. China also became the third country in the world to master the key technology of astronaut space extravehicular activity, completing a space material test outside the spaceship and an experiment on deploying and accompanying flight of a small satellite. In September and November 2011, China successively launched the Tiangong-1 (Space Palace-1) and Shenzhou-8 spaceship, and accomplished their first space rendezvous and docking test, laying the foundation for the construction of future space laboratories and space stations.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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