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19 Rockets and 43 Satellites! Year-Round Review of China’s Space Development in 2015

By Zhu Xi (People's Daily Online)    06:17, December 31, 2015

The Chinese space industry is to enter a new era as the year 2015 will see the end of its 12th Five-Year Plan. A total of 19 rockets and 43 satellites have been launched successfully by China Aerospace Science and Technology Co. in 2015.

The world has seen 86 space launches in 2015, 29 in Russia and 17 in the U.S., excepting that the latter saw two failed attempts due to accidents. At the end of December, let’s take a review on the key achievements Chinese space industry has made in 2015.

New-Generation Carrier Rockets Took Maiden Flights Successfully

On September 20, a new model of carrier rocket, Long March-6 blasted off on its maiden flight in the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province. The Long March-6 carried 20 micro-satellites and set a new record for the number of satellites that carried by one rocket.

A new model of China's carrier rocket Long March-6 carrying 20 micro-satellites blasts off from the launch pad at 7:01 a.m. from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province, Sept. 20, 2015.

On September 25, the rocket Long March-11 carried four micro-satellites into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gansu. It is the first solid propellant rocket of the Long March rocket family developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology with the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation.

China successfully launched a new model of carrier rocket, the Long March-11, at 9:41 a.m. on September 25, 2015, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern province of Gansu.

Besides, China has successfully performed the ground tests on its largest ever rocket the Long March-5 and Long March-7, which were scheduled to take their maiden flights in the Hainan Satellite Launch Center in 2016.

Long March-3A Rocket Completed All Nine Space Missions

As China’s “gold rocket”, the Long March-3A has successfully sent 10 satellites to space in nine missions out of China’s total 19 launches in 2015. 

The Long March 3A rocket

Four Beidou Navigation Satellites Launched Successfully

China successfully launched four new-generation satellites for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), marking that the Beidou satellite navigation system had taken a solid step towards the goal of global coverage. China plans to expand the Beidou services to most of the countries covered in its "Belt and Road" initiative by 2018 and offer global coverage with 35 Beidou navigation satellites by 2020.

Rendering picture of China's BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS),

Five New Communication Satellites Put into Orbits

In 2015, five new communications satellites including the APSTAR-9, ChinaSat 1C, Zhongxing-2C, Zhongxing-1C and LaoSat-1 were put into orbits successfully. They will provide high-quality voice, data and radio as well as TV transmission services for home and overseas users.

Rendering picture of APSTAR-9

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Zou Luxiao,Bianji)

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