September 23, in the session of China’s thematic reports on the opening day of the 64th International Astronautical Congress, Gao Hongwei, Vice Chairman of the Organizing Committee (China) of the 64th International Astronautical Congress and Chairman of CASIC, made the thematic report of Innovating Development Concept and Promoting Advancement of Space Technology, introducing CASIC’s major contribution to the major national aerospace engineering, and set forth the ideas in such field from the R&D of the reusable space transportation system, development of low-cost and highly-reliable solid carriers, development of micro satellite constellation, development near space resources and promotion of transformation and application of space technological achievements, triggering discussion and exchange with the participants
Over fifty years, even on a very weak industrial and technological basis, China's aerospace industry, starting from scratch, from small to large and from weak to strong, has made great achievements attracting worldwide attention. Impressive performance has been achieved in the missile weapons, carrier rockets, satellites, manned spaceflight, lunar-exploration project and other fields, which greatly enhance China's national defense, economic, scientific and technological strength as well as national cohesion.
When summarizing CASIC’s main contributions in the aerospace field, Gao Hongwei said, CASIC has been paying attention to research and development and application in such areas as space delivery system, micro and small satellites, various types of space payloads and satellite applications, and has made important contributions to China's manned space engineering , lunar exploration project, Beidou satellite navigation system, high-resolution earth observation system and other major space project. He said, in the new period of development, CASIC always adheres to the value and idea of developing space technology to bring benefit to human society and strives to take the space development road with Chinese characteristics. Through technological innovation, innovation of business model and management innovation, CASIC will vigorously promote the development of aerospace defense, information technology and equipment manufacturing industry and actively seek to carry out extensive international cooperation.
After decades of rapid development, the aerospace technology changes quickly. China’s level of space technology has been gradually approaching or has partially reached that of the space powers in the world. As a main force of China's space industry, what is the new thinking of CASIC in the innovation of development concept and promotion of advancement of space technology?
Gao Hongwei put forward the ideas in five aspects.
First, researching and developing the reusable earth-space-earth delivery system
The earth-space-earth delivery system is one of the basic conditions for human space activities. Currently, human enter into space mainly by relying on large-scale liquid carrier rockets. But their launch cost and safety limit the development of human space activities.
In the future, the reusable earth-space-earth delivery system should give play to respective advantages of aviation aircrafts and aerospace crafts and can become a new aerospace vehicle which can carry out round trip flight among dense atmosphere, near space and low earth orbit, resulting in wide prospects for commercial applications.
Second, developing low-cost and highly-reliable solid rockets
In terms of demand for temporary satellite launching services such as earth observation in response to sudden natural disaster events, solid rockets would be a more practical choice. In particular, onboard launch will allow solid rockets will show more advantages.
If on-demand satellite launch could be achieved, the solid rocket’s launch time could be shortened to be a few days or less and the solid rocket’s launch cost could be reduced by 20% around further compared to the current level, the solid carrier rocket’s competitive advantage would be very obvious.
Third, developing micro and small satellite constellations
Currently, large remote sensing satellites in the field of earth observation are difficult to meet the urgent needs of the people for low cost and flexibility and other aspects.
Micro and small satellites have their irreplaceable advantages in cost control, response speed, security, maintenance and function reconstruction and other. Therefore, the formation and application of micro and small satellite constellations could become an important direction in the field of development of space technology.
Fourth, developing near space resources
Near space is a field which is not yet fully developed. A traditional spacecraft or air vehicle cannot meet the flight operation requirements in near space.
Developing the near space aerostats with ability to reside for a long-term and the solar energy type unmanned air vehicle (UAV) technology can not only form a new economic growth point between the traditional spacecraft and aircraft applied industries, but also provide more convenience to improve human life.
Fifth, promoting transformation and application of the space technology
With the acceleration of global urbanization pace and the development of urban informationization, infrastructure, municipal management, resources and environment, life quality of residents and other issues have become the important factors preventing cities from developing rapidly, efficiently and sustainably.
In recent years, CASIC has been striving to develop the basic technology and applied technology related to the smart city, the smart country and the smart earth. Giving full play to the technical advantages of the satellite navigation system, high-resolution earth observation system, high-capacity satellite communication system, internet of things, cloud computing, intelligent analysis and data processing and other field, CASIC has made continuous efforts in the construction of efficient urban operations management system and intelligent transportation system and other. CASIC has undertaken a number of important planning and construction projects at home in order to provide a more comfortable living and working environment for the public.
Finally, Gao Hongwei said, we would very much like to sincerely cooperate with the international space community in order to make new and greater contributions in exploration of the universe, peaceful use of outer space and application of space technology to benefit human society.