China aims for bigger slice of satellite market

China aims to build a leading aerospace industry by 2015, when the country would command 10 percent of the world's commercial satellite market, and 15 percent of the space launch market. ( Reuters )

Beijing was planning to double the number of aerospace scientific research and production bases to eight, said Xinhua, citing a blueprint released by state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC).

The primary goal was to provide a package of services to customers, including research, production and testing, Xinhua said.

"By 2015, the CASTC would take up 10 percent of the international commercial satellite market, and 15 percent of the world commercial space launch service market," Xinhua said, citing the state company's blueprint.

The plan comes after Boeing Co, one of the world's leading aerospace companies, said in April that the United States was in danger of losing its edge in space to countries such as China and India, without major funding increases from the government.

US government space spending rose 3.4 percent in 2007 from 2006 while spending by other countries jumped nearly 12 percent in dollar terms, according to a report by the private Space Foundation.

The foundation said it conservatively estimated Chinese civilian space spending at $1.5 billion, which compares to the $17.6 billion being sought by the US government in 2008.

Through last year, China had carried out 50 successful spacecraft launches via its Long March series of rocket carriers, sending 43 domestically developed satellites, six spaceships and one lunar probe into orbit, said Xinhua.

China successfully launched two manned space trips in 2003 and 2005, and the next is expected in October, it said.

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