December 2, 2020

CASIC’s Enterprise Plans for the Next 5 Years

The China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC) released a five-year plan. It released it during the 6th China International Commercial Aerospace Forum on Monday. The conference began on October 19, and its venue is Wuhan, Hubei Province that is in central China.

The enterprise’s plans revolved around developing a reusable spaceplane, satellite constellations, and launch services. According to its chief technologist Fu Zhimin, the next five years will enhance the commercial aerospace system’s capability. The cost of production will also reduce through reusing launch vehicles. He also added that time spent to prepare commercial rocket launches and how often they will take place would decrease and increase, respectively.

Come 2023; the company wants its Kuaizhou series rockets launches will be twice the current number. So far, the number of launched rockets stands at 10. Earlier this year, CASIC faced a setback when the first launch of larger Kuaizhou-11 failed. It is larger than the Kuaizhou-1A. Its 2.2-meter diameter and a capacity of lifting off up to 78 tons. It can also deliver I ton up to an SSO of 700 kilometers. However, it has recently released the Kuaizhou-1A. This one can even lift off a payload up to a similar SSO. However, its weight capacity is 200 kilograms as well.

CASIC is currently developing Kuaizhou-21 and -31. Their diameters will be 4 meters. These solid rockets will be in a position to carry 20000 kilograms and 70000 kilograms to LEO, respectively. Simultaneously, the enterprise wants to be the leading solid rocket technology company globally by 2025.

It plans to expand a two-stage-to-orbit reusable spaceplane system. If things go as planned, CASIC will have developed and tested it by 2025. The Tengyun spacecraft will demonstrate and verify horizontal takeoff and horizontal landing, which should have happened within the period. It will carry crew as well as cargo to orbit. The spacecraft will also send the satellites into orbit.

By 2021, CASIC is planning to launch a dozen of Xingyun 2-series satellite. Come 2025, it also wants to have concluded the Xingyun project, an LEO narrowband Internet of Things constellation comprising of 80 satellites. Remote areas lacking communication infrastructure will also benefit from the Hongyun LEO broadband constellations of 156 satellites.

Another milestone is the CASIC-led Wuhan National Aerospace Industry Base. It is now in operation. This rocket production is big enough to assemble and test up to 20 rockets annually, increasing up to 50 in the future. After all, its area is about 30 hectares.

Its Kuaizhou rockets will face a lot of completion locally. A good example is SOE CASC, which is already producing the Long March 11 solid rocket. Others include Jielong rockets by CASC, Ceres-1 by Galactic Energy, and Hyperbola-1 by iSpace.