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Shanghai Sets Sights on Expanding Space Industry with Ambitious 2025 Goals
File image of LandSpace ZQ-2 methane rocket being launched earlier this year.
Shanghai Sets Sights on Expanding Space Industry with Ambitious 2025 Goals
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Nov 23, 2023

Shanghai, a growing center for technological advancement, has unveiled a bold plan to develop a comprehensive industrial chain for commercial rocket production, aiming to reach an annual production capacity of 50 commercial rockets and 600 commercial satellites by 2025.

Outlined in an official plan released on Monday, this initiative underscores Shanghai's commitment to reinforcing its position in the space sector. The city will concentrate on several key areas: satellite manufacturing, launching, ground system equipment, spatial information applications, and services. This strategy is aligned with the city's broader goal to enhance the integrated development of satellite communications, navigation, and remote-sensing technologies.

Central to Shanghai's vision is the development of three major products: new-generation medium and large carrier rockets, low-cost and highly integrated satellites, and intelligent application terminals. According to Wu Qing, vice-mayor of Shanghai, the city has already established a relatively complete spatial information industrial system, with districts demonstrating integrated and innovative development patterns in crucial sectors like R and D, manufacturing, and application.

Moreover, the plan emphasizes expanding the application of space technologies and data services across various sectors, including city governance, transportation, maritime, safety, energy, and finance. To facilitate this growth, the Shanghai government will introduce supportive policies aimed at attracting and nurturing talent, leading firms, and innovative platforms such as laboratories, institutions, and research centers.

By 2025, Shanghai anticipates its spatial information industry to exceed a value of 200 billion yuan ($28 billion), marking a significant milestone in the city's economic development.

The backdrop to Shanghai's ambitious plans is China's remarkable progress in the space industry. Last year, the country achieved a record 64 rocket launches and completed the Tiangong space station, a testament to its growing prowess in space. Since 2015, following the issuance of the Medium and Long Term Development Plan for China's Civil Space Infrastructure (2015-25), China's space industry has increasingly welcomed commercial participation, fueling rapid growth and innovation.

A notable milestone in this journey was the commencement of construction for China's first space launch site dedicated to commercial missions in Wenchang, Hainan province, last July. This year, China's commercial space industry has seen a surge in development, with more private firms achieving successful launches in the satellite and rocket sectors.

Recent successes include Galactic Energy's launch of five satellites into orbit in January and the maiden flight of the Tianlong-2 Y1 carrier rocket from Jiuquan in April, marking China's first orbital liquid-fueled carrier rocket. Additionally, in July, the Zhuque-2 Y2, a methane-liquid oxygen space rocket developed by Beijing-headquartered LandSpace, lifted off from the Jiuquan launch site. This was followed by Galaxy Space's launch of China's first flat-panel communication satellite with a flexible solar array.

Shanghai's focused development of the spatial information industry was further highlighted last year with the release of guidelines promoting this sector's growth. Earlier in September, the city also announced a plan to accelerate the construction of new infrastructure, including the establishment of commercial satellite networks.

As Shanghai marches towards its 2025 goals, its comprehensive strategy and robust industrial capabilities are poised to significantly contribute to China's burgeoning space industry, marking a new era in commercial space exploration and technology.

Related Links
Galactic Energy
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
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