Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China

03/01/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/01/2021 03:21

China to conduct 40-plus space launches in 2021

By An Puzhong and Wang Lingshuo

BEIJING, Mar. 1 -- China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) released the 2020 blue paper on China's space exploration activities in Beijing on February 24, 2021, which reviewed the world's space activities in 2020 and unveiled the CASC's plan for space missions in 2021.

As a leading force in China's space industry, the CASC's Long March carrier rockets had conducted 34 space launch missions in 2020, sending a total of 82 spacecraft into space, accounting for 92.1% of the total number and 99.2% of the total weight launched by China in 2020. In this way, the CASA led its global peers in the volume of space launch missions.

According to the blue paper, China is expected to launch more than 40 times in 2021; the manned space station project will enter the stage of key technical verification and construction; the Tianwen-1, China's first Mars probe, will reach Mars to achieve orbiting, landing and roving; several civil space infrastructure satellites will be launched to meet China's needs for economic and technological development.

It is learnt that China's crewed space exploration program has entered the stage of preparation for space station construction. The core module of the space station is planned to be launched by the Long March-5B rocket at China's Wenchang Satellite Launch Center this spring. The crewed space exploration program plans to complete a total of 11 space launch missions from 2021 to 2022 to send the space station's core module, experiment modules, crewed spacecraft and cargo vessel into space.