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China to Launch over 50 Small Satellites in Next Ten Years

China will launch more than 50 small satellites, each weighing less than 1,000 kilograms, in next five to ten years, a Chinese space company announced  at a major air show in Guangdong Province.

"The 50 small satellites and their systems will be widely applied in observation, scientific experiments and environment and disaster monitoring," said a source with the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC), adding 200 to 300 small satellites would be launched globally in next five to ten years.

The CASIC, the country's leading space company, was introducing its latest technologies, including the three small satellites for the "Kua Fu Mission" to probe the Sun-Earth environment.

China has launched several high-performance small satellites, such as the HY-1A ocean monitoring satellite, since 2001.

China had world-leading technologies in building small satellites, said the CASIC spokesperson, who also revealed that China was actively researching a new type of small carrier rocket to meet the increasing satellite demand and will conduct the first launch around 2010.

The CASIC, officially established in 1999 as the main contractor for the Chinese space program, has more than 180 subsidiary enterprises and institutions nationwide, employing almost 100,000 people.

(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2006)

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