China Ramps Space Mission –Acquires Australia Tracking Station

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China continues its drumbeat of space initiatives, setting the pace for 21st Century space exploration with its fifth space station outside of its territory with the acquisition of a space tracking station in Dongara, about 350 kilometers north of Perth in western Australia.


This development is part of China's plan to accelerate expansion in its space industry in the next 10 years, according to a report from Shanghai Security News. The newspaper added that the country will spend around 300 billion yuan (47.47 billion U.S. dollars) for the space program as it plans to build lab modules, a space station and launch 10 to 20 spaceships over the next 10 years.

Wu Ping, spokesman of China's manned space program also reportedly said that there are 20 or so space missions being planned in China, cretaing up demand for spacecraft manufacturing and launch services.

Aside from the Dongara station, which was used during the launch of Shenzhou VIII mission last week, there four others are in Pakistan, Chile, Kenya and Namibia. This is the first facility in a close US ally. The U. S. and the European Space Agency both have tracking facilities in Australia.

In its website, the SSC said the location of the Dongara Satellite Station was "particularly advantageous for accessing low-inclination orbiting satellites" and that it is frequently used for geostationary orbit raising operations, for first acquisition of launch vehicle and spacecraft telemetry at orbit insertion/deployment.

The Daily Galaxy via Reuters News

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