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UPDATED: October 13, 2010 NO. 49 DECEMBER 4, 2000
China's Space Activities - 2000

III. Future Development

The 21st century will witness vigorous development of space activities across the world. China is drafting a space development strategy and plans oriented to the 21st century according to the actual demands and long-term target of national development to spur the growth of the space industry.

Development Targets

The short-term development targets (for the next decade) are:

- To build up an earth observation system for longterm stable operation. The meteorological satellites, resources satellites, oceanic satellites and disaster monitoring satellites can develop into an earth observation system for long-term stable operation to conduct stereoscopic observation and dynamic monitoring of the land, atmosphere, and oceanic environments of the country, the peripheral regions and even the whole globe;

- To set up an independently operated satellite broadcasting and communications system. Positive support will be given to the development of commercial broadcasting and communications satellites such as geostationary communications satellites and TV live broadcasting satellites with long operational lives, high reliability and large capacity, so as to form China's satellite communicationas industry;

- To establish an independent satellite navigation and positioning system. This will be achieved by setting up a navigation and positioning satellite group step by step and developing a relevant application system, which will eventually bring into being China's satellite navigation and positioning industry;

- To upgrade the overall level and capacity of China's launch vehicles. This will be achieved by improving the performance and reliability of the "Long-March" group, developing the next generation of launch vehicles with non-toxic, non-polluting, high-performance and low-cost qualities, forming a new group of launch vehicles and strengthening the capability of providing international commercial launching services;

- To realize manned spaceflight and establish an initially complete R&D and testing system for manned space projects;

- To establish a coordinated and complete national satellite remote-sensing application system by building various related ground application systems through overall planning, setting up a remote-sensing data receiving, processing and distributing system covering the whole country for data sharing, and forming a fairly complete application system in major application fields of satellite remote-sensing; and

- To develop space science and explore outer space by developing a scientific research and technological experiment satellite group of the next generation, strengthening studies of space micro-gravity, space material science, space life science, space environment and space astronomy, and carrying out pre-study for outer space exploration centering on the exploration of the moon.

The long-term development targets (for the next 20 years or more) are as follows:

- To achieve industrialization and marketization of space technology and space applications. The exploration and utilization of space resources shall meet a wide range of demands of economic construction, state security, science and technology development and social progress, and contribute to the strengthening of the comprehensive national strength;

- To establish a multi-function and multi-orbit space infrastructure composed of various satellite systems and set up a satellite ground application system that harmonizes spacecraft and ground equipment to form an integrated ground-space network system in full, constant and long-term operation in accordance with the overall planning of the state;

- To establish China's own manned spaceflight system and carry out manned spaceflight scientific research and technological experiments on a certain scale; and

- To obtain a more important place in the world in the field of space science with more achievements and carry out explorations and studies of outer space.

Development Concepts

China develops its space activities with the following approaches:

- Accelerating the industrialization of space technology and its application. Enterprises engaged in space science and technology are guided and encouraged to renovate institutions and technology, and establish an operational mechanism geared toward both the domestic and international markets, so as to speed up the industrialization of space technology and its applications step by step, with the stress on telecom satellites and satellite telecom and launching vehicles.

- Deploying space activities rationally. Space science, technology and application shall be developed in a well-coordinated manner through overall planning. The work in these three fields will be given differentiated importance from "preferential arrangement," "active support" and "proper development" to "follow-up studies," so as to ensure the comprehensive and coordinated development of China's space industry.

- Strengthening pre-study and technological infrastructure construction. Efforts will be concentrated on tackling key technological problems to grasp core technology and attain independent intellectual property rights. At the same time, technological infrastructure construction will be strengthened in the three aspects of space activities, and international cooperation will be broadened to sustain the development momentum of China's space industry.

- Speeding up the development of talented people in the space industry and forming advantages in this regard. Special policies will be adopted to promote space education and train qualified personnel to foster a contingent of young and highly qualified space scientists and engineers. Efforts will be made to publicize space knowledge, and motivate all sectors of society to support the development of the space industry.

- Improving scientific management for better quality and benefits. Since space activities involve huge investments, high risks, sophisticated technology and complicated systems, systems engineering and other modern management tools shall be applied to promote scientific management, increase system quality, lower system risks and enhance comprehensive benefits.

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