New space hub to emerge in China

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Planned innovations include reusable rockets with vertical landing, and low-cost satellites

Shanghai plans to become an innovation hub for the development of space technologies by 2025, the local government announced on Wednesday.

The city, which is already a major Chinese industrial and commercial center, will set up mass production of low-cost commercial satellites, and assembly lines for rockets, including reusable rockets which can take off and land vertically, according to a notice on the Shanghai government’s website.

China is striving to become a major space power by 2030, with plans for sample returns from the Moon, Mars, and an asteroid, as well as for a comet rendezvous and a Jupiter mission.

Last year, the tech city of Shenzhen offered up to 300 million yuan ($47 million) for every project related to the development of satellites and related industry applications.

A new commercial space port is planned in the southern province of Hainan, and the country’s fifth rocket launch site is being constructed in Zhejiang province. China’s space launch rates have more than doubled over the past five years, with 207 missions between 2016 and 2021.

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