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China to Have Deep Space Monitoring Network in 2016

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China is scheduled to have a deep space monitoring network in 2016 to support the country's future space missions, a senior scientist with China's lunar orbiter, Chang'e-2, said Thursday.

The network will consist of two monitoring stations in China, each in China's northwestern region Kashgar and northeastern region of Jiamusi, and one more in South America, Qian Weiping, chief designer of the Chang'e-2 mission's tracking and control system, told Xinhua in an interview. Efforts are being made to upgrade or build deep space monitoring stations in the three locations by equipping them with large-caliber antennas, Qian said.

He added that the upgrading work in Kashgar and Jiamusi will be completed in 2012 to provide monitoring support for China's lunar orbiters, Chang'e-3 and Chang'e-4, while the monitoring station in South America will be created in 2016 to assist in the lunar orbiters' return to Earth.

(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2011)

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