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Chinese Annual Space Budget Exceeds Two Billion Dollars

File photo: Model of the Chinese Space Station.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Oct 12, 2006
The Chinese government spends less than a tenth of NASA's budget on space activities, an official said here Thursday. The proposed 2007 budget of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on civil space programs was nearly 17 billion dollars, while China's budget was less than one tenth of that figure, said Sun Laiyan, administrator of China National Space Administration.

As a developing country, China ensured its space activities served its economic and social development and science technology development, he said.

"In fact, we spend quite little on what we need to do," Sun said.

The Chinese government had altogether spent about 19 billion yuan (2.4 billion U.S. dollars) on the first five Shenzhou spacecraft.

The first "Shenzhou" unmanned experimental spacecraft was launched in 1999. Three more "Shenzhou" unmanned experimental spacecraft were launched in rapid succession. On October 15 and 16,2003, it launched and retrieved "Shenzhou V", China's first manned spacecraft, according to the white paper "China's Space Activities in 2006" published by the government Thursday.

The government spent less than one billion yuan (125 million U.S. dollars) on the "Shenzhou VI" manned spacecraft last October, with two astronauts on board, Sun said.

He said the budget for the first stage of China's lunar exploration program was just over one billion yuan (125 million U.S. dollars).

China's first lunar-probe satellite to be launched next year, is part of the three-stage Chang'e Program which aims to place an unmanned vehicle on the moon by 2010. The project has a budget of 1.4 billion yuan (170 million U.S. dollars).

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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China, US To Meet Every Year For Space Cooperation
Beijing (XNA) Oct 12, 2006
Space agency officials from China and the United States are to meet annually to discuss the development of bilateral space cooperation, said Sun Laiyan, administrator of China National Space Administration, on Thursday.

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