While the U.S. is privatizing space explorations, the Chinese Communist Party plans to build its first manned space station around 2020.
Retired USAF Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast, said China is ‘building a navy in space‘ with space-based equivalents Of “Battleships And Destroyers”, and the US urgently needs to develop military capabilities in space.
Here is an overview of China’s major space programs in 2020:
1. Tiangong space station
China will start putting together its first manned space station around 2020. In the first step, a Long March 5B carrier rocket will put the station’s core module into orbit that year. Next, other components and astronauts will be ferried to the core module to assemble the station.
2. Chang’e 5 lunar probe
China plans to launch the Chang’e 5 lunar probe in 2020 to bring moon samples back to Earth. The Long March 5 carrier rocket, China’s current largest launch vehicle, will be used to send the probe into space.
China made a historic landing on “Dark Side” of the moon with very suspicious intentions.
3. Beidou navigation satellite system
China will possibly launch all BeiDou 3 satellites to complete the global network of its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System into space by the end of June, about half a year ahead of schedule.
4. Gaofen program
China has set goals to build a space-based, high-resolution Earth observation network by 2020, since it launched the Gaofen (high resolution) program, one of the 16 important national projects in science and technology, in May 2010.
Images and data from the Gaofen satellites have been widely used in more than 20 industries across China and have helped reduce the country’s dependence on foreign remote-sensing products. It has also helped serve countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative and military information gathering.
5. Long March 8
China’s new medium-lift launch vehicle Long March 8 will make its maiden flight next year, and it has entered the final stage of assembly and testing.
Long March 8 has been designed for commercial use to compete in the world market for carrying a maximum payload of 4.5 tons to the Sun-synchronous orbit. It will also meet clients’ requirements on low cost and good performance to crush competitors for monopolization
It is estimated that after being put on the market, its annual output will meet the demand of at least 10 launches in the early stage, and more than 20 in the later stage.
6. Hongyan satellite constellation
The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced in 2018 that China will establish a constellation of more than 300 low-orbit satellites to provide global communication services.
7. First exploration on Mars
After years of preparation and experiments, China is to start its exploration to Mars by launching an unmanned probe to the planet next year.
8. Smart Dragon 2 rocket
The solid-propellant carrier rockets Smart Dragon 2 (SD 2) is expected to conduct flight tests in 2020 to provide reliable, convenient and economic launching services for commercial satellite users in the constellation network and payload tests.