17 March 2018
China launched a land exploration satellite into a preset orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert of the country's northwest on 17 March at 15:10 h. The satellite is the fourth of its kind and mainly used for exploration of land resources by remote sensing. A Long March-2D rocket carried the satellite into space.CAST will solicit the needs of potential customers and make customized recoverable satellites for them, according to Zhang. CAST hopes to build an industrial chain to support the service.

14 March 2018
Five years ago, Zhang Xingying first used Chinese polar-orbiting satellites to detect and measure smog, looking for ways to tackle air pollution. Now as China makes progress in clearing its skies, the meteorologist hopes the technology can also be shared to brighten the future for all, both at home and overseas. "Smog may be on the retreat at the moment but remains a problem that cannot be ignored, not only in China but in many other countries," said Zhang, 40, chief scientist of atmosphere composition remote sensing at the China Meteorological Administration (CMA). "We share the same environment and the same earth. Helping others is actually helping ourselves. That's what 'a community with shared future' means," Zhang said, who is also chief China scientist for an EU-funded remote sensing research programme.

16 March 2018
The Fourth Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the main contractor for the Chinese space programme, officially unveiled a new subordinate entity on 16 March to build space-based internet services using 80 small satellites. Zhang Di, Deputy Director of the academy and also president of the new company Xingyun, said cellular mobile communication technology is unable to provide Internet across more than 80 percent of the land and 95 percent of the ocean. He said the new space-based service and Internet of Things will turn a new chapter in communication and allow easy connection whether on sea, islands or in the desert.

13 March 2018
China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, has discovered 11 new pulsars so far, the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) said 13 March. Since FAST started trial operations in September 2016, it has discovered 51 stars which bear features similar to pulsars, and 11 of them have been confirmed as new pulsars by observatories in other countries.

13 March 2018
China plans to put more than 300 satellites into a low Earth orbit to provide global communication services, with the first satellite set to be launched this year. The whole constellation is expected to be completed in 2023. The constellation named Hongyan, "wild goose," is designed to meet increasing demand for Internet services, including faster and more stable global broadband access. The head of the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), Zhang Hongtai said, "Our research is quite mature. Hongyan is composed of 54 core satellites and the final network will contain more than 300 satellites. We plan to put the first test satellite into orbit in 2018."

Issue no 20 of the GoTaikonauts! newsletter was just published. The focus of reporting is on the quarterly news in China’s space programmes and selected background reports.

Issue no 20 - Content
• Quarterly Report April - June 2017
• China's 1st National Space Day 2016
On the occasion of China's 1st National Space Day in 2016, the Vice Minister of the Armed Forces Equipment Development Department and Deputy Commander of China's Manned Space Programme, Zhang Yulin spoke about the status of China's manned space programme and gave an outlook on the tasks for the near future.
GoTaikonauts! summarises the most important information, given by Xu Dazhe at the State Council Information Office press conference on 22 April 2016 regarding the introduction of China's National Space Day.
• China’s 2nd National Day of Space Flight 2017
On 24 April 2017, the GoTaikonauts! team visited two space institutions related to China's space programme: the Qian Xuesen Library and Museum Shanghai and the West Sheshan Mountain with its astronomical sites including the Tianma 65-m radio telescope in Shanghai- Sheshan. The articles “Tradition is not the worshipping of the ashes but to pass on the flame” and "Excursion to Tianma – the Pegasus of Shanghai" are reports about the excursions.
• GLEX2017-Global Space Exploration Conference Highlights
• Space Commemorative Banknote and Coin

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