(Yicai Global) Jan. 4 -- The state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation plans to carry out 35 space launches this year, a record high in China's aerospace history. China carried out only 18 space launches last year.
2018 will be the busiest year with the most missions for CASC since its founding, Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday. As multiple key missions enter the critical phase, the number of major launches and flight tests, as well as deliverables, will reach a record high.
The Chang'e-4 Probe mission, as part of China's moon exploration program, is expected to complete two launches this year and carry out human beings' first landing, inspection and exploration on the far side of the moon.
BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, which consists of two separate satellite constellations, plans to launch 18 satellites to complete the planned coverage of the Belt and Road countries. CASC will also launch Zhang Heng-1, China's first earthquake-prediction satellite.
China initially planned to carry out 30 launches last year, said an insider, but due to two rocket accidents in June and July, it ended up carrying out only 18 launches in 2017 and postponed some missions to this year. That is why the number of launches will significantly increase in 2018.