30 December 2013
China's high-definition Earth observation satellite, the Gaofen-1, has been formally put into service, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) announced Monday.
The satellite has undergone eighth months of in-orbit tests since it blasted off on April 26. It has met requirements and even performed better than expected by sending back high quality photos, according to SASTIND.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield hopes that next phase of space exploration will see China involved
30 December 2013
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is calling for cooperation with China in space and wants it to be part of any international effort to return to the moon. "I think right now a lot of people see it as kind of crazy to cooperate with the Chinese, but I think it's the next logical step," a newspaper reported citing Hadfield as saying in a recent interview with the Canadian Press. Hadfield said a logical progression would be to include as many countries as possible in an international mission beyond Earth.
28 December 2013
China is planning to expand its home-grown Beidou navigation system by 2020 and make it accurate to within centimetres. Currently the system can reach an error margin as low as 5 meters in trials and can be further improved to within centimetres to compete with the dominant US Global Positioning System.
The navigation system has been providing accurate and stable services to Asia-Pacific users since China launched it a year ago and other countries in Asia are welcome to use it, Ran Chengqi, Director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, told a press conference in Beijing.
27 December 2013
Chinese travelers will be able to take space trips by the end of 2014 thanks to an agreement signed on Friday in Beijing between a Chinese travel agency and Netherlands-based space tourism firm Space Expedition Corporation (SXC). Travelers will pay a minimum of 580,000 yuan (about 95,000 U.S.dollars) to board the Lynx Mark I spacecraft produced by the U.S. private aerospace company XCOR, said Zhang Yong, chief executive officer of Dexo Travel, a Chinese travel agency focusing on high-end travelers.