China joins the space competition for the Internet and prepares to launch its first satellites for the construction of the megaconstellation.
The Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. of. China has announced that it will modify the upper stage of the Long March 5B rockets to allow them to accommodate satellites for this purpose.
According to Space News, a modified rocket is already in the works and will launch in the second half of 2023 if all goes as planned.
The Chinese agency’s goal is to deploy 13,000 satellites for the constellation called ‘Guowang‘, providing the country with an alternative to Western networks such as Starlink (SpaceX) and Kuiper (Amazon).
“Over the next few years, the rocket series. Long March 5B will be transferred to the high-density launch stage to meet the country’s needs for fast, large-scale access to space,” Liu Bing, director of the general design department of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, said in November.
China has already been using its rocket platform to put a number of modules of its new Tiangong space station into orbit.
If the country’s space program efforts are successful, we could be looking at a turning point for its commercial space industry. The network could give China a significant advantage and perhaps even a military advantage.
SpaceX is leading the way
Of all the companies mentioned, it is SpaceX that is the most advanced with Starlink.
This constellation already has more than 4 thousand. satellites in orbit for approximately one million customers worldwide.
The main competitive advantage is that SpaceX promises connectivity in any geographic condition, only requiring a receiving antenna to grab the signal.
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