China seeks 500% increase in space-launch market share

Deputy head of China’s Academy of Launch Vehicle TechnologyLiang Xiaohong told Xinhua News Agency that to achieve this goal,the country plans to build strategic alliances with major launchservice providers and satellite manufacturers, and to develop itsown technology.Although China currently owns only 3 percent of the market, ithopes to become a major player in space in the near future.According to Liang, China’s first solid-fuel rocket will be readyto make its first flight by 2016.The cost-efficient advantage of Chinese rockets has beenovershadowed by the achievements of rival Japanese and Indianaerospace industries, as well as private aerospace enterprises fromEurope and the US, Liang explained.Russia continues to be the world champion in the space launchmarket, according to Russian federal space agency Roscosmos.Company head Vladimir Popovkin said that Russia conducted 24 spacelaunches in 2012, sending 33 vehicles into space, accounting for 38percent of all launches worldwide.China has several types of ‘Long March’ rockets for use incommercial launches, all of which now mainly burn liquid fuel thatmust be pumped in just prior to launch, AP reported.”The development of the Long March 11 will greatly improve China’scapabilities to rapidly enter space and meet the emergencylaunching demand in case of disasters and emergencies,” Xinhuaquoted Liang as saying.Earlier this week, China’s space program unveiled plans to sendthree astronauts to its orbiting space station this summer as partof preparations to establish an even larger permanent presenceabove Earth.The Shenzhou 10 spacecraft, which will carry one female astronaut,will spend two weeks aboard the Tiangong 1 space station, duringwhich time a team of astronauts will conduct a variety ofexperiments. This will be China’s second manned docking of twospacecraft in orbit.The station will be replaced around 2020 with a permanent oneweighing about 60 tons, slightly smaller than NASA’s Skylab of the1970s, and about one-sixth the size of the 16-nation InternationalSpace Station, according to AP.

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China seeks 500% increase in space-launch market share


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