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China plans to launch more than 40 orbital missions in 2020

Apart from launches planned by state-owned CASC, the country’s launch activity will be further boosted by new private firms including China Rocket.

China has announced its intention to carry out more than 40 launches into space in 2020, including lunar, interplanetary and space infrastructure missions.

State-owned defence contractor China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) will conduct the majority of missions with its Long March fleet of rockets, including missions such as China’s first Mars spacecraft as well as the Chang’e-5 lunar probe, which is intended to bring Moon samples back to Earth.

The CASC also plans to launch the Apstar-6D communications satellite based on a new DFH-4E bus, Hongyan low-Earth orbit internet satellites, remote sensing and weather satellites and commercial payloads. A new generation recoverable satellite for microgravity research is also slated.

China Rocket, a CASC spinoff developing Jielong (Smart Dragon) solid rockets is also planning to execute Jielong-1 missions and first Jielong-2 launch in 2020.

CASC carried out 27 launches involving 66 satellites across 2019, with one failure, according to board chairman Wu Yansheng.

In total, the country held 34 orbital launches last year.