19 December 2017
Alcomsat 1, Algeria's first communication satellite, was successfully positioned at 24.8 degrees West longitude in geostationary orbit on 18 December. The positioning took place after eight hours of controlled flight conducted by a Chinese control center, paving the way for the satellite's further operation. Alcomsat 1 was launched on 11 December 2017.
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19 December 2017
Chinese commercial space launch company ExPace Technology Co., one of nearly a dozen companies in China with aspirations to be China’s SpaceX, has raised a RMB 1.2 Billion (US$180 Million) series A round from eight unnamed investors. The company plans to use the latest funds to develop space launch vehicles, invest in up-stream and down-stream commercial space industry, as well as to improve its assembling capabilities, according to a company announcement. ExPace was founded in 2016 by China Aerospace Science and Industry Co. and China Sanjiang Space Industry Group Corporation CASIC as the first private company in China providing professional space launch services.
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18 December 2017
Scientists are building a space center in the red deserts of northwestern China to prepare for the country’s 2020 Mars mission.
Last year, the Chinese government announced plans to launch an unmanned Mars mission in 2020, and the CAS started looking for a place to build a research base for the expedition. On a cold January day, local tour guide Zhang Qingzhe introduced Hongya, or Red Cliff: an area in the Gobi Desert, to Liu Xiaoqun, director of the Moon and Space Exploration Department at CAS, and his team, who noted it as a potential site for the base.
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15 December 2017
China's southern island province of Hainan has unveiled a satellite launch plan to assist remote sensing coverage over the South China Sea. The Sanyan Institute of Remote Sensing said the mission would start in 2019, when it would launch three optical satellites. After that, it will add another three optical satellites, two hyperspectral satellites and two SAR satellites to complete the Satellite Constellation Program by 2021, for conducting round-the-clock remote-sensing over the tropical sea area.
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15 December 2017
China's space station, to be launched in 2022, will be equipped with a domestically developed active hydrogen atomic clock, said the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC) on 15 December. The active hydrogen atomic clock will be a key equipment of China's space time frequency lab aboard the space station, according to a press release from the clock developer, a CASIC institute in Beijing.
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12 December 2017
China responded to the U.S. plan to send astronauts back to the Moon, saying it is willing to enhance cooperation with the international community in the peaceful use of outer space. "China is glad to see countries making progress in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a routine press briefing. Regarding Trump's remarks that "space has so much to do with so many other applications," including the military, Lu said China's stance opposing the weaponization of outer space is clear and consistent. China hopes members of the international community will reach an agreement on preventing the weaponization of outer space, Lu said.
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