China Will Break Its Space Launch Records in 2020
Jan. 20, 2020 (EIRNS)—China will, if things go as planned, break its record for space launches in 2020, sending more than 60 spacecraft into orbit with more than 40 launches, according to a plan released Jan. 17 in Beijing, reported by Xinhua, and picked up by Space Daily portal today. These will depend on the Long March-7A rocket, called by Xinhua the new “medium-sized high-orbit rocket”; the Long March-8 rocket sun-synchronous orbits; and the Long March-5.
The last, Long March-5 will carry the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission, China’s new generation manned spacecraft, and a Mars probe. Four nations in fact plan launches to Mars in July—China, the United States sample-return rover, a Roscosmos/ESA partnership, and the United Arab Emirates. July-August is the window when the relationship of Earth to Mars allows travel for the least amount of chemical fuel, which will not occur again for 26 months.
“This year will continue to see intensive launches,” Shang Zhi, director of the Space Department of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) told Xinhua. China’s space “blue book,” including future missions was released at Shang’s press conference. He said China will also be launching more geostationary satellites to complete the BeiDou-3 Navigation Satellite System in the first half of 2020, the lunar exploration, and a network of Gaofen observation satellites.