Beijing StartUp plans to offer low-cost space travel in ultra high balloon

29 September 2014

A private mainland company plans to offer near-space tourism for ordinary people in a high altitude balloon, according to a Beijing newspaper. Passengers would ascend to 40,000 metres in a pressurised capsule, where they would enjoy not just the spectacular view of the earth's curvature set against a backdrop of deep, dark space, but a few moments of reduced gravity, according to Spacevision, a start-up in Beijing, The Mirror reported. The project was still in its "design phase" while the launch date and ticket prices were yet to be determined. The extreme balloon ride would also face hurdles such as safety laws and the government's strict regulation of civilian air space, a mainland space expert said.

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China launches experimental satellite

28 September 2014

China successfully launched an experimental satellite into preset orbit from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in its northwestern gobi desert on Sunday. The Shijian-11-07 was boosted by a Long March-2C carrier rocket at 1:13 p.m. Beijing Time. The satellite, which was developed by China Spacesat Co. Ltd under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, will be used to conduct scientific experiments in space. This was the 194th flight of the Long March rocket series.

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Some more detailed analysis provided by NASAspaceflight.com

 

China to improve earth observation service

28 September 2014

China will promote the application of satellite earth observation technologies to better serve the economy, officials and experts said. [...] The administration will promote the construction of a high-definition earth observation system and the spatial data infrastructure, he said. It plans to spend ten years in constructing an earth observation system that integrates use of air, space and ground based technology, including drones, satellites and GPS systems, in order to serve the economic and social development.

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China Exclusive: Mars: China's next goal?

25 September 2014

Mars received two visitors from the Earth this week. NASA's new spacecraft MAVEN entered the orbit around Mars on Sept. 21 to hunt for the planet's lost water. And India's first Mars probe has reached Mars on Sept. 24, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adding that India is the first country to have reached the Red Planet on its first attempt. After China's successful soft landing on the moon late last year, will Mars be its next goal? No official plan has been published yet, but some experts have disclosed the country's interest.

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Second space lab, new astronauts on the way

27 September 2014

China will soon have two space laboratories in service and is selecting engineers to join its third batch of astronauts, a senior space official said on Friday. "The Tiangong-1 space lab is in good condition, its equipment is functioning normally and fuel is sufficient for further operations," Wang Zhaoyao, director of the China Manned Space Agency, told a news conference in Beijing on the third anniversary of the Tiangong-1 mission. "We will closely monitor the lab's condition and arrange experiments for it so that its lifespan can be extended for as long as possible."

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China feels re-affirmed by Indian success

25 September 2014

[...] India reminds us of the importance of taking the first step. Though Yinghuo-1 was outperformed by Mangalyaan, China's aerospace sector has made precious achievements in space, such as manned spaceflight and building space stations. Without these previous efforts, we will still be absent in some core fields. Mangalyaan brings us more affirmation than a sense of competition. Among Net users from both countries, acrimonious remarks are heard against each other, creating an impression that China and India are mired in deep hostility. But any real conflict of interest between the two is much less serious. Bilateral cooperation is entering the prime stage.

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