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China planning more than 20 satellite launches in 2016

March 7, 2016

An official from China's Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation has announced the country's plans to conduct over 20 satellite launch missions throughout 2016.

According to Gadgets 360, this will see China exceed the number of launches planned by the United States.

People's Daily quoted the official as saying 15 of the launches will be significant projects or first flights.

In April, the retrievable Shijian-10 satellite will be launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

Other experimental satellites include the launch of a Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope, an X-ray observatory and a quantum communication satellite. The country's first carbon-tracking satellite is set to be launched in August.

The next of China's new generation of navigation satellites for its BeiDou navigation system is to be launched this year, as is Gaofen-3 satellite, a Chinese civilian remote sensing satellite.

After having sent a Belarusian communications satellite into space, China will help the country with its commercial sensing satellites.

China will also send several rockets into space throughout the year. An orbiting space lab, Tiangong-2, and a manned spacecraft with two people on board, Shenzhou-11, are two of the rocket launches planned.

The country's aerospace industry will also be launching two new types of rockets. Long March-7 will put China's first cargo ship, Tianzhou-1, into space in the first half of 2017 and will dock with Tiangong-2 to conduct experiments. Long March-7 is scheduled for launch in June.

Long March-5 is the second of the new rockets and launch is planned for September. The rocket has the largest carrying capacity among China's new generation of rockets. It has a maximum payload capacity of 25 tons to low Earth orbit and 14 tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit.

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