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

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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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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02 January 2018
All the key components of China's BeiDou navigation satellites are made in China, ending reliance on imports, Xie Jun, Chief Designer of the Beidou system, said on 2 January. Key components such as traveling-wave tube amplifiers, microwave switches, and high-power current source controllers are now all made in China instead of being imported, Xie said. He also said his team has mastered all the core technologies for the global BeiDou network of satellites, aiming to make it as good as the Global Positioning System (GPS).
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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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14 December 2017
The Permanent Mission of China to the UN in Vienna issued a notification on the re-entry of Tiangong 1.
"China attaches great importance to the re-entry of Tiangong-1. For this purpose, China has set up a special working group, made relevant emergency preparedness plans and been working closely with its follow-up tracking, monitoring, forecasting and relevant analysing. Until 26 November, Tiangong-1 had been orbiting at an average altitude of 296.0 km (perigee: 281.7 km; apogee: 310.2 km; inclination: 42.65°). Currently, it has maintained its structural integrity with stabilized attitude control. According to the latest forecast, its re-entry is expected between the first 10 days of February and the last 10 days of March 2018. Tiangong-1 weighed 8.5 tons at launch, 10.5 metres long, with a maximum diameter of 3.35 metres. Tiangong-1 uses methylhydrazine and dinitrogen tetroxide as its engine fuel. Based on analysis, the remaining small amount of fuel will be burned and destroyed along with its structural components during the course of re-entry and will therefore not cause any damage on the ground."
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