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The 2001 Winter Issue of Aerospace China

Policy and Prospects for the Development of China's Space Technology

Mr. Luan Enjie, Administrator of CNSA

In the paper, Mr. Luan Enjie, Administrator of China National Space Administration (CNSA) describes the great achievements of China's aerospace industry obtained in the 20th century. The author also says in the paper that China will enhance the governmental macroscopic management and policy instruction to promote the development of China's space technology. Finally author gives the brief introduction of the development of China's space technology in the future.

Space technology is a comprehensive engineering technology with which people have been carrying out space activities, and conducting the exploration and use of outer space. It is one of the technologies, which has the highest influence in the current hi-tech group. It has enlarged the scope of human activities from the earth to outer space and has thoroughly changed the way of thinking, the way of production and the life style of people. Since the first artificial satellite was sent into space, space technology has continuously infiltrated into every area of human activity. Space application has become an indispensable part in the modern information society, and the development of space technology has brought a new thinking for the world's science and technology development. The development history of space technology shows that it is not only an inspiring technological achievement, but also an important means to improve people's life quality, expand their living space and develop new resources. Meanwhile, the development and application level of aerospace technology has also become an important mark of national comprehensive strength and civilization of one country.

As an important part of the world's aerospace industry, China's aerospace industry has made active contributions to the development of the world's aerospace industry. China's three generations of leadership strategically had or have supported the development of aerospace industry. In 1958, Chairman Mao Zedong stated that "we too should produce man-made satellites"  which sounded the clarion call for China to march towards the development of aerospace industry. The second generation leadership with Deng Xiaoping as its core put forward that science and technology is No.1 productive force, which had promoted the strategic conversion of China's aerospace industry and realized the transfer of China's space technology from experimental stage to application stage. The third generation leadership with Jiang Zemin as its core has been actively promoting the development of China's aerospace industry. It has put forward that we should carry forward the spirit displayed in developing China's first "nuclear bombs, missiles and satellites", establish new system of "combining military with civilian production", enhance technology innovation, develop high technology and realize the industrialization of China's aerospace industry. China's aerospace industry has promoted the sustainable development of economy and society, brought along the complete progress of our science and technology, improved the defense strength, comprehensive national power and the international position of our country. It has also made great contribution to the foundation for our country, as a powerful country, to stand in the world in the second half of the 20th century.


Since its founding in 1956, under the correct leadership and kind attention of three-generation leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the great support of the people all over the country, China's aerospace industry has experienced important developing stages through unremitting efforts of generations?space personnel. It has grown out of nothing, developed from small to large. It has carried out arduous and pioneering work, necessary and complete development, and the reform, vigorous and opening to the outside work. It has carried out the great and rapid development of space technology, space application and space science, reached certain scale and level, and established a necessary and complete system for research, development, design, manufacture and test. It has set up spacecraft launching centers capable of launching various kinds of satellites and manned spacecraft, and TT&C network composed of the domestic ground stations and long distance tracking and measuring spaceships. It has developed many satellite application systems, which achieved great social and economic effects, and also developed a space science research system with certain level, which gained many innovation effects. During its development it has brought up space hi-tech contingent daring to make innovation, diligent at their work and with indomitable spirit.

Great Achievements in Space Technology

China has successfully designed and manufactured the LM series of launch vehicles, various kinds of application satellites, science experimental satellites and spaceships. Technologies for the development of launch vehicles and satellites have become more and more mature, the science research and manufacture equipment has been perfected, the system engineering management is in good order. Now we have basically established space science and technology industry system with system design, final assembling and system testing as its main part and the system also has important, necessary and complete subsystems. China's recoverable satellite platform, communication satellite platform, meteorological satellite platform, earth observation satellite platform, science experimental small satellite platform and the LM launch vehicle family have achieved series of successes and can meet various demands of domestic and foreign launching services. They have laid a solid foundation for the transfer of space technology into production forces, national economic construction and defence construction and made important contribution to them.

Remarkable Results in Space Application

China's remote sensing satellite ground application system receiving network covers whole China including its land and seas and can process and distribute the remote sensing satellite data at home and abroad, and its divisions spread all over the country. At present, the meteorological satellite has become an indispensable way to make weather analysis and forecast. The resource satellite remote sensing data has been widely used in many sectors of national economy such as geological prospecting, mineral and land survey, forestry, grassland and desertification monitor, agricultural yield estimation, project plan, disaster and environmental monitor and assessment, etc..

China's broadcast and television coverage rate has increased from 68.4% in 1985 to 90% now. The special VSAT network has been widely established in such departments as post and telecommunications, finance, meteorology, news, transportation, petroleum, water conservancy, electricity, meteorology, etc.. The satellite TV long distance medical network has been established and put into operation and the long distance education system has reached quite large scale. The broadcast communications satellite is contributing to "Every village to get broadcast communications services", the development of the west part of China and the development of information technology in other areas.

The application of the satellite navigation position system has rapidly developed in China, which has been widely used in the field of sea, river and ground transportation.

Deep Development of Space Science

China's space technology has gained many innovation results in the basic theory research and reached certain international level. The study of the space flow mechanics, space material science and space life science on recoverable satellites, science experimental satellites and manned spacecraft, has obtained good success. Now China has been capable of making scientific experiments in space, like multiple station fluid and crystal growth and biological electrophoresis. CNSA has signed the Agreement on Double Star Plan for Space Exploration with ESA in 2001. The both sides will jointly carry out the study of the mechanism of space magnetic storm, which marks that China's space science has gone to the world.


The Party Central Committee's Recommendation on Formulating the Tenth Five-Year Plan for the Development of National Economy and Society, adopted by the Fifth Plenary Session of the Fifteenth Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, had posed more requirements for the development of China's space technology in the future, which considered China's space industry as a hi-tech area with strategic significance. The recommendation had called for concentrating forces, breaking through key technologies, and improving initiative and innovation capability. Speeding up the development of China's aerospace industry has great significance to the realization of our country's third strategic targets.

In the 21st century China will enhance the macroscopic management and policy guidance of space development. In the organizational structure reform of the State Council, the governmental agency has enhanced the management of China's aerospace industry and united the three large areas including space technology, space application and space science under China Aerospace Flag. The united plan, united policy, united regulations and especially the consideration of space-ground integration will be sure to promote the order, high efficient and health development of China's space technology. In Nov. 2000, the Chinese government openly issued the White Paper on China's Space Activities for the first time, which has systematically and overall described the aims and basic principles of the Chinese Government for the development of aerospace industry. It has openly revealed the development prospects for and aims of China's space activities of the peaceful use of outer space to benefit human beings in the early 21st century. And it has again described the principle of "equality and mutual benefit, mutual complementary, mutually learning others?good points to make up each other's deficiency and common development", which the Chinese Government has always carried out for international cooperation in the development of space technology. Under the guidance of the White Paper on China's Space Activities, the Chinese Government had formulated the Tenth Five-Year Plan for the Development of China's Space Technology according to China's conditions, which has detailed the development blueprint and developing steps for the development of China's space technology before 2005.

China's socialist market economy system has been initially set up and now is being perfected continuously. Space hi-tech is one of the most advanced technologies with high investment. Its use scope is increasing continuously and its economic benefit is getting more and more obvious. And space activities are very active. In addition to space science and technology departments, many state agencies, institutions, enterprises, colleges and universities actively participate in space activities. It is very important to enhance the governmental macroscopic management of space technology development because of above space characteristics. During the development of space technology, we should leave some things undone and get others done. We should make the united plan for the development of space technology, space application and space science, and guide above units to give full pay to their advantages and raise money through many channels to develop space technology. We should do work in order of importance and urgency and make an overall arrangement for the development of priorities of space programs and space technology research programs. We should overall plan spacecraft resources and make various satellites?capability complementary, forming the comprehensive space-based information system. We will conduct united development of the space system and ground system to guarantee the simultaneous construction of space system and ground system. We will guide the related units to enlarge the scale and improve the level of the satellite application to promote the industrialization of space technology and give full play to its social and economic benefits as soon as possible. We will also overall plan the ground system to develop the receiving and processing capability covering our whole country and to avoid the repeated construction, and establish and perfect space law and regulation system to make China's space industry develop according to the more perfected space law and regulation road. We will formulate the industrial and technological policies, keep and guide the sustainable development of China's space science, technology and industry, actively promote international exchange and cooperation, catch up with and surpass the advanced world level and promote China's space products to be sold in the world market.


Taking a panoramic view of the development of the world's aerospace industry we can see that after more than 50 years?research and development, especially after the revolutionary breakthrough in the 1970s, space technology has been developing rapidly after the World Warand has been listed into new and high technology industries which have an important influence on the world's economy. Countries all over the world have realized that high technology and the development of hi-tech industry are important factors, which decide national strength and future of a country. Therefore, space technology, having made special contributions to communications, navigation, remote sensing and scientific experiments, must be the strategic arena for the information revolution and competition in the 21st century.

China has a large population, vast territory and various natural conditions. Therefore, it has a big market with many demands and has provided a vast field for the development of space technology and its industrialization. As an important part of China's advanced productive force, space technology plays an important role in protecting national interests and implementing the development strategies. With the sustainable, stable, rapid and coordinate development of the national economy and the acceleration of the development of social information, and with the further implementation of the strategy for "Developing our country relying on science and education?and the strategy for the great development of the west part of China, it is quite urgent to provide comprehensive satellite application system with stable operation to serve the national economic construction, defence construction and the science and technology advancement. Meanwhile, the international exchange and cooperation in the field of space technology has brought in opportunity to realize the leaping over development of China's aerospace industry.

At the beginning of the 21st century, i.e. during the Tenth Five-Year Plan period and the time after, the development target of China's civilian aerospace industry is:

To develop the satellite common platform and a new generation of launch vehicles;

To establish a space-ground integration comprehensive satellite application system;

To realize space science, deep space exploration and manned space flight; and

To realize the comprehensive and coordinate development of China's aerospace undertaking.

In order to realize the above mentioned targets, we should develop China's aerospace undertaking under the united plan and leadership of our country and with the requirements of the Three Representatives as our guide. We should always follow the development road of "Independence, self-reliance and self-innovation", and try our best to develop our own core competitive capability. We will combine needs with technological development, space with ground, space technology with civilian product development and self-development with international cooperation. We will develop those projects that have an important effect on the development of national economy and society, and technological advancement to meet the basic demands of the modernization construction of our country.

We should make our main efforts to develop important technologies, make breakthrough in the key areas and follow a better development road with our own characteristics, which is suitable to national conditions of our country. In the remote sensing application area, we will develop space-ground network system with various remote sensing means and long-term stable operation. In the satellite navigation and positioning area, we will initially establish the satellite navigation and positioning application industry. In the satellite communications area, we will make the communications satellite basically meet the demands of the domestic market, and preliminarily establish China's communications satellite industry and try to enter the international market. In the launch vehicle area, we will comprehensively promote the integral capability and level of China's launch vehicles and make a new generation of launch vehicle series to improve the capability of taking part in the international commercial launching service. We will also realize manned space flight and establish China's manned space flight system. In the space science and deep space exploration area, we will carry out the space scientific research and deep space exploration research with the moon exploration as its main part. And we will also try our best to occupy an important position in the world space science area and improve deep space exploration technology to a higher level.

After all, the development of China's aerospace industry has a bright future. I hope that science, industry, education and other circles would pay greater attention to and give greater support to China's aerospace industry. Let us make our joint efforts to make great contributions in China's aerospace industry to the peaceful use of outer space, the promotion of human civilization and social development, meeting the increasing requirements of the national economic construction, state security and science and technology development, maintaining the interests of our country and enhancing the comprehensive strength of our country.

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