China started its year 2017 with the successful launch of the TSJW or the Tongxin Jishu Shiyan Weixing spacecraft from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The launch happened on Thursday at 15:18 UTC. The satellite was hoisted into space aboard the Long March-3B/G2 launch vehicle. China will conduct a record breaking 30 space launches this year. It is all a part of an ambitious space program which will make it a dominant power in space research.
Most of the launches will be done by Long March-5 and Long March-7 rockets. The successful test launch in South China’s Hainan Province will lead to the space station construction; state-run China News Service had said.
The telecommunication satellite was a test satellite and the first of its kind. China is also set to launch a Lunar Probe in 2018. It will attempt a soft landing on the other side of the moon, something which has never been attempted by any other nation before.
Last year China had conducted as many as 21 launches, and the next satellite which is going to be launched will be a satellite to test multi-frequency high-speed data transmission. China has already overtaken the US in the number of launches.
The first edition of the TSJW satellite was launched on September 12, 2015, and the Chinese government said that it would be used to test communication between the bandwidth of 27 to 40 GHz or the Ka band. There are rumors about a completely new class of satellites known as the Changcheng or the Great Wall and will be dedicated to the early warning system, something akin to the American Space Based Infra-Red Sensor satellites.
A prominent newspaper in Japan had also reported that the Chinese are building a missile defense system to detect any missile attack. China is also reported to be developing an X-Band radar system which will be integrated into a ground-based interceptor system.