China prepares over 20 space missions in 2016

Beijing, Jan 8 (IANS) China is preparing over 20 space missions this year, including a manned one and the maiden flights of two rockets, a media report said on Friday.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp said it plans to launch the Tiangong 2 space laboratory and the Shenzhou XI manned spacecraft and to test fly the Long March 5 and Long March 7 rockets, the China Daily reported.

China will also launch two satellites for the domestically developed Beidou Navigation Satellite System and the Gaofen 3 for the Gaofen High-Resolution Earth Observation System.

“This year will see more than 20 space launches, the most missions in a single year,” the company said.

The company will also launch a communications satellite for Belarus, marking the first time China has exported a communications satellite to Europe.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp is also finalising the development of the next-generation carrier rockets.

The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology is carrying out final tests on the Long March 5, the heaviest and most technologically challenging member of the nation’s rocket family.

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