How advanced is China's space technology

Tests on China's largest satellite completed

All major technologies, demonstrations and verifications have been completed on China's largest, heaviest and most advanced satellite.

All major technologies, demonstrations, and verifications have been completed on China's largest, heaviest, and most advanced satellite. This is evidence of the efficient design of the country's new generation satellite platform, the DFH 5, as the Chinese Academy of Space Engineering said. The Shijian 20, a technical demonstration satellite developed by the Beijing-based academy, is tasked with carrying out 84 tests and experiments in orbit. So far, all important tests have been completed with "satisfactory results", said the academy in a statement.

Shijian 20 was launched from a Long March 5 launcher at the Wenchang satellite launch center in Hainan Province on December 27 and reached its preset position in geosynchronous orbit about 36,000 kilometers above the Earth in early January. With a technical lifespan of 16 years, it is the second satellite based on the DFH 5 after the Shijian 18 was lost during a failed second flight of Long March 5 in July 2017. With a takeoff weight of over 8 tons, the satellite carries more than 10 first-class technological payloads and is equipped with the largest, longest and most modern solar systems in the country.

Li Feng, chief designer of Shijian 20, said some of the tests and experiments were innovative and strategically important, and their results would be useful for research and development of next-generation space technologies. Wang Mian, satellite designer at the academy, said that the ultra-high-speed laser communication technologies provide super-fast data transmission, high security, and good anti-electromagnetic interference ability. The in-orbit experiments for next-generation technologies laid a solid foundation for China to build high-speed space communications and internet networks. Electric propulsion technology also has great potential in the aerospace industry, as it enables spacecraft to save a lot of the space needed for fuel storage and to provide that space for mission payloads. As a result, the weight of the satellite can be significantly reduced so that one rocket can launch two satellites into orbit at the same time, or a launcher can use a smaller rocket to transport the satellite, which significantly reduces launch costs, the designers said.