China


Olympic Swimgear Redefined

Perhaps the highest visibility for a space technology spinoff in 2008 was the migration of technology used for space shuttle drag research into the design of the low-friction swimwear worn by a number of Olympic competitors, including multiple gold medalwinner Michael Phelps.

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2008 – BeiDou

China is planning to supplement its Compass Satellite network already in development. In April 2007, China launched BeiDou-2, the first MEO satellite for Compass. Plans have been announced for the launch of ## PNT satellites over the next two years. This network, limited to the Asia Pacific region initially, may be operational by the end of 2010.

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2008 – China Launch, Payload

China’s increasing participation in space continued in 2008 with the record high of ## orbital launches, exceeding its previous peak of ## orbital launches in 2007. These launches used China’s only operational vehicle family, the Long March (“Chang Zheng”, or CZ) series.

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2008 – Orbital Launch Reports and Forecasts

From the launch of the Sputnik satellite on October 4, 1957, through the end of 2008, approximately ## orbital launches have occurred.  These missions carried some ten thousand satellites, experiments, probes, landers, and other spacecraft on trajectories ranging from Earth orbit to missions beyond our solar system.

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2008 – China Launch, Human

In 2003, China became the third nation to achieve orbital human spaceflight. The Long March 2F vehicle and its Shenzhou capsule are similar in design and function to the Soyuz rocket and capsule configuration. In October 2008, China launched Shenzhou 7, whose three-person crew performed the first Chinese extra vehicular activity, or spacewalk. In 2006, the Chinese government updated its China’s Space Activities white paper, which lists potential activities of follow-on Shenzhou missions. These include testing docking procedures, with the eventual objective of creating a space station.

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2008 – Satellite Television – Snapshot

FSS includes the provision of satellite capacity for a range of applications from video distribution to relaying telephone signals, and integrated voice/data services on private networks which often use very small aperture terminals (VSAT networks). Estimated 2008 revenue for FSS is $## billion. This value is based on actual data reported as of January 2009, and past years’ data from SIA. 

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2008 – Space Employment – Snapshot

The economic impacts and human capital effects of global space activity are mutually reinforcing. Worldwide space activity is a driver of industry and commerce, both in economic sectors with a primary space linkage and in secondary and tertiary supporting industries. As space-related economic activity stimulates economic growth, it employs individuals, shapes educational needs, and informs public policy priorities.

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2008 – Degrees Awarded – Snapshot

The National Science Foundation tracks “first university degrees,” equivalent to a four-year undergraduate degree in the United States, for six countries: the ##, ##, ##, ##, ##, and the ##. In 2004, the most recent year for which data is available for all six countries, the ## was the leading country in issuing first university degrees in all fields, topping ## million, with ## in second place at ## million.

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2008 – Spaceports – Snapshot

Spaceports operate around the world, offering different capabilities and scales of operation. Some spaceports consist of little more than a basic control center, transportation infrastructure, and launch platform. Others are more elaborate, with facilities for payload processing and integration as well as state-of-the-art mission operation centers. 

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2008 – Chinese Government Space Budget – Snapshot

China’s dramatic space progress in the past decade is linked to growing space expenditures through the civilian China National Space Agency (CNSA). Although China does not publish its civil space budget, in 2005 Luo Ge, the vice administrator of the CNSA, stated that the Chinese space budget was US$## million. Many analysts contend that annual Chinese civil space spending is considerably higher, at least one-tenth that of the United States, or around US$## billion.[

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