Private players make their mark with space missions

More Chinese companies embark on satellite and rocket ventures

By Zhao Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-22 07:04
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A Long March 2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou XVII spacecraft lifts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in October. ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY

The first launch service tower was completed at Hainan International Commercial Aerospace Launch Center in Wenchang, a coastal city in the island province of Hainan, on Dec 29, the last work day of 2023.

However, work continues at the center for its maiden launch, which is expected to take place around June.

When put into operation, the center will become the fifth ground-based launch complex in China and the first dedicated to serving commercial space missions rather than government-funded programs.

In China, a commercial space mission generally refers to a space activity paid for by a business entity rather than a government department.

Construction of the new center, which began in July 2022, was undertaken by China Aerospace Construction Group.

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