A constellation of three reconnaissance satellites, collectively known as Yaogan Weixing 25, has been successfully launched atop a single Chang Zheng-4C launcher from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Site at 15:33 Beijing Time (07:33 GMT) on 11 December 2014.
China plans to send a probe to orbit Mars and land a rover on Mars surface in a single mission around 2020. In an interview with Xinhua News Agency, Lei Fanpei, Chairman of the China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation (CASC) consortium, confirmed that the initial evaluation of China’s first independent Mars mission had already been completed.
China has successfully launched a remote-sensing satellite named CBERS-4 on Sunday 7 December. The Chang Zheng-4B (CZ-4B) rocket carrying the satellite lifted off from Launch Complex 9 of the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre (TSLC) on at 11:26 Beijing Time (03:26 GMT). The mission also marked the 200th flight of the Chinese Chang Zheng (Long March) series launch vehicle.
A new record in the history of Chinese satellite launches has been achieved on 21 November 2014, with two launches conducted within 24 hours from the same launch centre.
On 20 November 2014, at 15:12 Beijing Time (07:12 GMT), a Chang Zheng-2D (CZ-2D) rocket carrying the Yaogan 24 reconnaissance satellite lifted off from Pad 603 (SLS-2) of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre (JSLC).
Huang Weifen, Deputy Chief Engineer of the Astronaut Centre of China (ACC), revealed that China would start recruiting the third group of astronauts within the next two years to support its space station programme.
In her speech for the 27th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers, which is being held in Beijing between 10th and 15th of September, Huang told the congress delegates that the source for future Chinese astronauts would expand from military pilots to include space engineers and medical professionals.
China has conducted two space launches within a time span of five days, placing four satellites into orbit.
On Thursday 4 September, a Chang Zheng-2D (CZ-2D) rocket blasted off from Pad 603 of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre (JSLC) at 08:15 local time (00:15 GMT). The main cargo of the rocket was the Chuang Xin 1-04 (CX-1-04) communications satellite developed by China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation. On its piggyback was the Ling Qiao experimental communications satellite developed by Tsinghua University.
Chinese state media briefly announced today that the country had successfully conducted another ground-based mid-course missile interception test on its territory on Wednesday (23rd July). No further detail about the test was given. This is the third exoatmospheric missile interception test conducted by China, following the two successful tests in January 2010 and January 2013.
Internet-sourced photo shows that a new type of electronic intelligence (ELINT) aircraft has entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
The third prototype of the Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter made its maiden flight successfully on Saturday 1st March. According to the witness report on Chinese social media, the J-20 prototype “2011” took the sky at about 12:00 local time, escorted by a Chengdu J-10S two-seater fighter. The entire flight lasted about 30 minutes before the aircraft landed safely.
The Chinese aerospace industry is currently developing two reusable launch vehicle (RLV) systems. The first one is a crewed space shuttle launched vertically atop the Changzheng 5 (CZ-5) rocket. The second is a smaller unmanned suborbital spaceplane that can launch a second-stage rocket to deliver payload to orbit. The unmanned system is expected to enter service before 2020 to supplement the country’s existing range of conventional non-reusable launch vehicles. The crewed space shuttle may replace the existing Shenzhou human capsule for crew transportation to the future space station by 2030.