09 January 2018
The Chief Designer of China's space laboratories has denied Western media reports that the nation's Tiangong 1 space lab was "out of control" and will crash land, according to Science and Technology Daily. Zhu Zongpeng, a Senior Scientist with the China Academy of Space Technology, which has built the Tiangong series, told the Beijing newspaper that Chinese scientists are constantly monitoring Tiangong 1 and will "make it fall back to the Earth" in the first half of this year. Parts of the spacecraft will burn up during re-entry, while the rest will fall into a designated area of the ocean without endangering people and property on the ground, he said.
Already last year, ESA announced that it will host a test campaign to follow the re-entry of Tiangong 1, which will be conducted by the Inter Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC). IADC comprises space debris and other experts from 13 international space agencies and organisations. ESA had to manage its own uncontrolled re-entry of its GOCE satellite in 2013 and will need to handle its inactive 8.2 t Earth-observing satellite ENVISAT which is still in medium Earth orbit but contact was lost in April 2012.
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Tiangong 1 Target Vehicle Orbital Status Weekly Reports on the CMSA website

09 January 2018
China launched a pair of high-resolution remote sensing Gaojing satellites on 9 January from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province. The satellites, SuperView 1-03 and 04, blasted off at 11:24 a.m. Beijing time on the back of a Long March 2D rocket, according to the center. The mission aims to promote the country's commercial use of high-resolution remote sensing satellites.
The satellites, which are able to provide commercial images at 0.5-meter resolution, are expected to offer remote sensing data to customers worldwide and provide services to land and resource surveys, mapping, environmental monitoring, finance and insurance as well as the Internet industry.
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04 January 2018
China will conduct more than 40 space-related activities in 2018, with analysts saying this shows that China's aerospace capabilities are strengthening in scientific research, commercial use and national defense. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the main contractor of the Chinese space program, held a planning session for 2018, and announced that it will conduct 35 launches in 2018, including the heavy-lift carrier rocket Long March-5, Chang'e-4 lunar probe, and BeiDou navigation satellite network. Another State-owned hi-tech enterprise, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), will also conduct several launches, including the Kuaizhou series solid-fuelled carrier rocket, mainly for commercial purposes.
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Rui C. Barobsa is having a closer look at the month of January and explains the upcoming Chinese space missions in his article for www.nasaspaceflight.com

04 January 2018
Reuters reported that Adebayo Shittu, Nigeria's Communication Minister, will sign an agreement with China Great Wall Industry Corporation by the end of the month for the order of two Chinese communication satellites. The satellites will be financed by CGWIC and China Ex-Im Bank. In return, CGWIC will be granted a share in the governmental company Nigcomsat which is responsible for the management of Nigerian satellite communications. Both parties welcome this innovative deal.
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06 January 2018
All Chinese astronauts who have traveled to space have reviewed the oath they took when they joined a special People's Liberation Army battalion. The ceremony has been held as part of a series of events to celebrate the 20 birthday of the battalion. The battalion is responsible for training China's astronauts. During the latest ceremony, the astronauts pledged to train harder in the days ahead so as to stand ready for space missions at any time.
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03 January 2018
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, CASC, said on 3 January that the corporation would conduct 35 launches in 2018, the most missions in its history. 2018 would be its busiest and most important year, as many of its projects would enter key phases, and the numbers of experiments and launches would be the highest in its history. The missions include the launches of the Chang'e-4 lunar probe, Long March-5 carrier rocket and BeiDou navigation satellites, the corporation said.
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