State-owned space giant prepares for giant step in space
Time: 10:02: Nov-26, 20     Author :  
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The sixth China International Commercial Aerospace Forum opens in Wuhan, capital of Hubei's province, on Oct 19, 2020. (Photo by Zhao Lei/

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, a State-owned space conglomerate, has made many strides in its commercial space businesses, according to a company executive.

Fu Zhimin, chief technical officer at CASIC, said at the opening ceremony of the sixth China International Commercial Aerospace Forum, which opened in Hubei's provincial capital of Wuhan on Monday morning, that his company has made many achievements in carrier rocket and satellite industries.

The State-owned giant has launched 11 Kuaizhou-series solid-propellant carrier rockets: two Kuaizhou 1s and nine Kuaizhou 1As, becoming a competitive player in the domestic space launch arena, he said.

It is now working on the development of what designers expect to be the most powerful solid-propellant rocket in China.

Once in service, the 25-meter Kuaizhou 11 will boast a liftoff weight of 78 metric tons and will be able to place a 1-ton payload into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700 kilometer.

CASIC began to develop the Kuaizhou series in 2009 as a low-cost, quick-response product for the commercial space market. Kuaizhou is the largest solid-propellant rocket family in China, as opposed to the Long March series that mainly relies on liquid fuel.

In the satellite industry, CASIC's Hongyun system, China's first low-orbit broadband communications experimental system, has completed hundreds of in-orbit tests and produced a large quantity of data, laying a solid foundation for the construction of a space-based internet, Fu said.

Hongyun, currently consisting of a satellite and ground facilities, has effectively proven the technological feasibility of a low-orbit, satellite-enabled internet system. The company intends to place more than 150 Hongyun satellites into orbit about 1,000 kilometers above Earth by around 2023.

Once in full service, the system will allow online browsing, video display and instant messaging service in remote regions now having difficulties doing these things, he said.

Another major space-based asset of CASIC, Xingyun is China's first and only space-based internet of things network and now has two satellites. CASIC aims to deploy 12 Xingyun 2-series satellites in 2021 to join the first two such spacecraft and then establish a small system for trial run.

Fu said that in CASIC's plan, the Xingyun network will have about 80 low-orbiting, narrowband communications satellites upon its completion around 2023 and will provide global coverage to users by that time.

Once the network becomes fully operational, it will offer users round-the-clock access to the internet of things, which is defined as a network of almost all physical items, bringing numerous advantages to users ranging from better control of their devices and higher operational efficiency to optimized utilization of resources, the executive noted.

More than 200 government officials, company representatives and researchers took part in the forum's opening ceremony. Scientists, businesspeople and observers from China and nine foreign nations are expected to partake in several online themed discussions on Monday and Tuesday.

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