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People's Daily Online

China to launch Kuaizhou-11, new generation of quick-response rocket in 2017

People's Daily Online

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online) 14:39, September 12, 2016

The newest generation of China's homegrown quick-response rocket is scheduled to enter commercial use in 2017, a scientist with a State-owned space technology enterprise disclosed on Sept. 11.

The first launch of the Kuaizhou-11, developed by the Fourth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC), is planned for 2017, said Zhang Di, head of the company's space projects department.

According to a Xinhua report, China Sanjiang Space Group (CSSG), which is located in central China's Hubei province, began the development of Kuaizhou-1 and Kuaizhou-2 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

To promote the commercial use of Kuaizhou rockets, CASIC Rocket Technology Co., Ltd., a commercial rocket development and launch company, was registered and established on Feb. 16 in Wuhan, Hubei province, according to Wuhan-based CSSG. Kuaizhou-1 and Kuaizhou-2 have been signed to the newly established company, Guancha reported. The company plans to develop more than 10 units of rockets, mainly targeting low-orbit small satellites, in the future.

According to the report by Guancha, China plans to launch a video satellite of Jilin-1, the country's first domestically-developed remote sensing satellite for commercial use. The satellite will be launched via Kuaizhou-1 near the end of 2016.

In the meantime, a project from Wuhan National Aerospace Industrial Base has received approval from the National Development and Research Committee. The base will produce 50 rockets and 140 satellites by 2020, the report said.

Bloomberg noted in an earlier report that China, India and several other Asian countries are lately spending billions of dollars on their space exploration projects. This Asian growth is set to increase competition across the board for commercial rocket-launching enterprises.

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