China’s space industry is gaining more private investment, which helps to promote space technology to serve the whole society by delivering more economic and social benefits, newspaper Guangming Daily reported on Jan 29.
How will China give full play to its advantages in space technology, better serve the society and the people, and become competitive in global space industry?
Space technology proves attractive to investment. Last December, CASIC Rocket Technology Company, China’s first commercial rocket launch company, raised 1.2 billion yuan ($181.5 million) for the development and launch of its Kuaizhou series carrier rockets.
CASIC Rocket Technology was jointly established in February 2016 by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation Limited (CASIC) and China Sanjiang Space Group.
The establishment of more and more such space startups has directed increasing investment to the space industry, said Tan Kaijia, a professor with the National Defense University of the People’s Liberation Army.
The gradual maturing of technologies in rocket launch, satellite manufacturing, remote sensing and communications, as well as their expansion for civilian use, has opened up the space economy and attracted multiple investors, Tan said.
He also said that the service prices will be lowered as the market opens wider and more players take part in the game, which also means lowered threshold for the area.
“The government-guided space industry will eventually be accessible to everyone, and more business opportunities will be created,” he explained.
For instance, the country’s southern Hainan province says it will send 10 commercial satellites into space in the next four to five years. The satellites will feature a higher degree of coverage, medium resolution, low cost, and wider application, and will be used for agriculture and forestry monitoring.
The application in more areas needs to be improved, including traffic and transportation navigation, and disaster prevention and relief. Satellites with larger capacity and a higher degree of coverage and safety are needed to be developed, Tan disclosed.
The global space economy will grow to the scale of a few trillions of US dollars, Goldman Sachs predicts. For China, about 800 billion yuan ($125 billion) market aggregate will be seen in carrier rockets and satellite application from 2016 to 2020.
Analysts said the country needs to foster a world-known brand in space technology to raise its soft power in the field.
They are also calling for laws and regulations in the space sector which include the commercial industry to promote healthy and rapid development.