The space Industry today plays an important role in China’s comprehensive development strategy. The space sector enjoys a special status and its contribution and performance cannot be judged by macroeconomic and other aggregate national level indicators. China’s investment in space in the last 2-3 decades have focused on capabilities that directly serve economic goals, aid development and have potential for contribution to economic development. However economic development was not the chief factor guiding the civil space program initially. The government’s focus on civil space industry has not been consistent with developmental priorities since 1992 when the human spaceflight program was started. Space technology related to specific applications such as telecommunications satellites and remote - sensing satellites for resource management and weather monitoring can generate direct and visible contributions to economic development.
Apart from the main space programs, the Chinese space industry is looking at further commercializing its space initiatives including the export of satellite components, to Western markets. The space industry is also likely to look at expanding into export sectors outside space for high-technology sectors such as clean energy products, solar panels etc.
While the government and space agencies are promoting commercial space ventures in China, the participation of Chinese enterprises in international commercial activities in the space field is encouraged and opening up new commercial vistas. China is a major player in satellite exports and has exported whole satellites and made in-orbit delivery of communications satellites to Nigeria, Venezuela and others. The country has also provided commercial launch services for the Palapa-D satellite of Indonesia and the W3C satellite of Eutelsat. Besides these China has signed export contracts with Bolivia, Laos, Belarus and other countries for its commercial satellite and ground system.
China’s space program objective is to build a permanent space station by 2020 and from there send an astronaut to the moon in the next few years.Chinais now attempting to promote a narrative of the country being a rising global power in space technology. Its plan in this regard includes launching freighters and manned-vessels in the next 5-6 years, conducting major research on black holes, forecasting environmental disasters, and other space operations. In recent yearsChina’s space exploration program has seen significant advances with its ambition to land a lunar rover on the moon. ForChinaits forays into space is an important part of its continuing development, and the country has some ambitious plans along those lines.
“China Space Industry Development Analysis” Report Highlights: