Tuesday, March 17, 2009

China Party Line - People's Daily says 'Space industry critical to global economic growth'

International space industry grows vigorously despite the sluggish global economy. Intensive space activities, particularly since March this year have repeatedly made headlines in global international media: China's lunar probe Chang'e-1 ended its 16-month mission with a controlled crash onto the moon; the US launched Kepler space telescope designed to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars; Russian and US astronauts completed a five-hour spacewalk; European Earth Gravity Field and Ocean Circulation Explorer will be launched soon…

Russia intensifies space exploration

Russia has put more efforts in its space programs in recent years, including the research and development of new transport tools such as carrier rockets and spaceships, as well as the construction of a space launch centre in Far East region. By the end of 2012, Russia will hopefully finish the spaceship that is specially designed for space travelers.

Russia's Space Agency chief Anatoly Perminov said that Russia will remain a leader in the international space industry in spite of the global financial meltdown. The Russian government has made it clear that Russia will continue to take on responsibility in international cooperation and the planning and operation of GLONASS will be completed within the year. It is reported that there will be 39 space launches this year, much more than in previous years.

EU pours 10 billion euros for space exploration

European Space Agency (ESA) will be busy this year. Three Earth probe satellites that will explore ice layers in the arctic areas, Earth gravity field and ocean circulation, soil moisture and salinity of oceans will be launched. Additionally, EAS also plans to send two scientific explorers into space, one for observing space radiation fields and the other for researching the formation of planets and galaxies.

ESA will also take part in the research and construction of the International Space Station (ISS). There will be six staff members in the space station by the end of this year. ESA will invest 10 billion euros for space exploration over the next few years and launch major projects including a manned spaceship and searching for life on Mars.

US increases budget on space exploration

US president Barack Obama raised the budget for NASA after he took office early this year. According to the fiscal budget for 2010, NASA will get a budget worth of 18.7 billion US dollars. If the one billion US dollars bonus from the government stimulus package is accounted, the total budget this year will be 2.4 billion, more than the previous year's level. The new budget aims to ensure US's leading position in the field of Earth and space research.

NASA plans to launch six spacecrafts to complete the missions of; sending provisions to ISS, repair Hubble space telescope, launch solar dynamics observatory, and search for the safe landing space for manned spaceship and so on. According to the original plan, US’ Irion spacecraft will be launched in 2015.

Japan puts forward the idea of manned space mission

Japan made substantial progress in the space industry last year, namely, Japan's Lab in ISS has been formed; Japan passed the Basic Law on Space on May 21, 2008, which laid the foundation for further development of its space industry.

The main purpose of Japan's space program is to monitor natural disaster and climate change, explore the mystery of space, and develop reliable and competitive technology. The Japanese government put forward the idea of sending robot and human beings to the moon by 2020 and 2030 respectively.

India researches into manned spacecraft

Indian Space Research Organization has sent its first unmanned lunar probe with a homemade carrier rocket on Dec.22 last year, which marked the beginning of India's lunar exploration. According to India's lunar project that has been made public, the south Asian country plans to launch the second unmanned lunar explorer by 2012 and the manned space mission by 2015. India is expected to complete its first space walk in 2020.

Currently, the manned space project in India has been helped by Russia’s Space Agency. Russian spacecraft Soyuz will carry Indian astronauts into space in 2013. Moreover, India also plans to launch an unmanned Mars observer in 2012.

ROK vows to be a power in space development

ROK sets the year 2009 as the beginning for the development of its space industry. ROK will send the homemade carrier rocket KSLV-I, a 100-kg little satellite into space in the second quarter this year. If successful, ROK will be the tenth country in the world that has launched the satellite.

ROK president LEE Myung Bak said after the first South Korean astronaut had gone into space the ROK was going to be one of the world’s top seven in space exploration. ROK plans to achieve this by sending astronauts into space with an ROK-made spacecraft in 2020.

International space industry develops by leaps and bounds

Yuan Minhui, director of Beijing Space Science and Technology Information Institute pointed out that the space industry points the way for economic development. According to statistics from US Space Foundation, the scale of global space industry hit 251 billion US dollars in 2007. The commercialization process of satellites such as telecommunication, navigation and remote sensing will be further accelerated.

International cooperation in the field of space exploration has further deepened and expanded. So far nine countries have inked a lunar probe deal. China has made great contribution in this regard. Cooperation between China and other countries and regions such as Brazil and Europe on satellite research and development facilitates as well as the development of related technology has improved.

By People's Daily Online

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