Skip to main content
main-content
Top

2022 | Book

China's Space Programme

From the Era of Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping

Author: Dr. S. Chandrashekar

Publisher: Springer Nature Singapore

share
SHARE
insite
SEARCH

About this book

This book comprehensively covers the history and current developments of space programme of China. It presents the complete story of China’s space program from its origins through to present day activities on the International Space Station. This monograph further discusses the role of China’s space strategy in its emergence as a major power on the world stage. The book also presents the context of China’s space program within the larger narrative of international space development. The book binds together the diverse political, military, economic and technology aspects into a coherent understanding and explains their role in the establishment and growth of Chinese space programme. Given the contents, this book will be a valuable source of information for students, researchers, and historians in the area of space studies

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Origins and Evolution

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. The Origins of China’s Space Programme (1956–1976)
Abstract
The return of Quian Xuesen from the US to China in 1955 also coincided with Chinese efforts to modernize their programme of economic development in which science and technology inputs were seen as key ingredients.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 2. Economic Reform and the Deng Era-1977–1990
Abstract
The end of the Cultural Revolution and the emergence of Deng Xiaoping as China’s leader created a new set of challenges for China’s space Programme. It will be clear from the evidence presented in this section, that during the early years of this transition, the space programme lost some of its special status.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 3. The End of the Cold War and the New Challenges to the Space Programme—1991–2000
Abstract
Globally, the decade of the 1990s was one of the most turbulent periods in recent times. The breakup of the Soviet Union and the first Gulf War fundamentally altered the global power structure. The end of the Cold War and the dominance of the US in world affairs, had a direct impact on China’s space programme. As the rationale for the alliance between the US and China directed against the Soviet Union started eroding, the US once more became concerned about the rise of China and the consequent implications for the world order.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 4. The Growth Phase of China’s Space Programme (2001–2020)
Abstract
The dawn of the twenty-first century saw a re-orientation of China’s space programme. While this was driven in part by increasing national capabilities, a major part of the changes came about because of developments in the geo-political arena.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 5. Strategic Trends and Future Directions
Abstract
China launched a total of 678 satellites on 396 launchers from the first satellite launch of 1970 till the end of 2020. Figure 5.1 provides a year wise timeline of the satellites. Most of these satellites are Chinese satellites built for meeting domestic needs. Some of the satellites are satellites launched for other countries. These numbers also include “Chinese owned” bought satellites launched using foreign launchers.
S. Chandrashekar

Assessments

Chapter 6. Chinese Recoverable Satellites
Abstract
After the launch of their first two satellites in 1970 and 1971, the Chinese shifted focus towards recoverable satellites. The recoverable satellite series has the Chinese name “Fanhui Shi Weixing” or FSW in its shortened form. The two launch vehicles that China was developing at that time were the Feng Bao launcher developed by the Shanghai-based group and the CZ 2C (originally CZ 2A) launcher being developed by the Beijing-based China Academy for Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 7. China’s Communications Satellites
Abstract
China has developed several launchers for placing satellites in Geostationary Orbits (GSO). These include the CZ 3 series comprising the CZ 3, CZ 3A, CZ 3B, CZ 3BE, CZ 3C as well as a CZ 2E which was an extension of the CZ 2C launcher. China has closed the CZ 3 and CZ 2E lines and only uses the others.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 8. China’s Weather Satellites
Abstract
After setting up ground stations to receive US weather data China decided to launch its own weather satellites. Though the programme was thought of in 1970 it did not get support till 1978.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 9. China’s Remote Sensing Satellites
Abstract
As of the end of 2020 China had launched a total of 114 remote sensing satellites. Two of these satellites were procured from the UK and launched on Russian rockets.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 10. China’s Navigation Satellite Constellation
Abstract
As of the end of 2020 China had launched 61 navigation satellites. These include 15 satellites in GSO, 12 satellites in an Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO) as well as 32 satellites in MEO. China also launched two experimental Centispace satellites using its Kuiazhou launcher into SSO in 2018 and 2020.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 11. The Human Space Flight Programme
Abstract
As discussed earlier a human space programme had been an integral part of China’s Space ambitions almost from the very beginning. However, it was only in 1992 that there was a final congruence of opinion that gave a go-ahead to the human space flight effort.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 12. Breakthrough Research in Space Science and Applications
Abstract
As mentioned in the first part of this book the return of Quian to China served as a fillip for boosting space sciences in the country. Quian’s affiliations to both the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) as well as to the 5th Academy that dealt with missiles made him a key link to the first satellite project that was initiated within the CAS.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 13. China’s Military Satellites
Abstract
Chapter 7 of the book that deals with communication satellites identifies 9 dedicated military communications satellites out of the 37 built and launched by China since 2000. It is quite evident that some of the domestic communication satellite capacity is also being used by the military—a common practice across the world.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 14. China’s Launch Vehicle Programme
Abstract
As outlined in the first part all of China’s current stable of operational launchers have their origins in its military missile programme. The DF 3 and DF 4 missiles were the direct predecessors of the CZ 1 responsible for placing the first Chinese satellite in orbit in 1970. The CZ 2 series of launchers (including the CZ 2D, the CZ 3 series as well as the CZ 4 series) and the defunct Feng Bao Launcher were all derived from the DF 5 ICBM. In all these developments, the space programme has used the power plants of their missiles as the base around which they have configured different architectures for realizing the payload requirements for different space missions. By adapting the missile through the stretching of the stages and through the addition of suitable upper stages and strap-on boosters China has created launchers that are built around the DF 5/CZ 2 basic architecture.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 15. Space Infrastructure in China
Abstract
Over the years China has built up an extensive and comprehensive infrastructure to cater to the needs of an increasingly complex space programme.
S. Chandrashekar
Chapter 16. International Footprints of China’s Space Programme
Abstract
As a relatively latecomer to the elite space club, China recognized that it had to catch up in many key areas related to space. It has very cleverly used a variety of approaches towards buying and selling various space products and services to achieve its purposes.
S. Chandrashekar
Metadata
Title
China's Space Programme
Author
Dr. S. Chandrashekar
Copyright Year
2022
Publisher
Springer Nature Singapore
Electronic ISBN
978-981-19-1504-8
Print ISBN
978-981-19-1503-1
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-1504-8

Premium Partner