China to launch nine satellites in 2006
They include the country's first direct broadcasting satellite, a meteorological satellite and oceanic satellite.india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 10:59 IST
China will launch nine satellites in the year 2006, president of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp Zhang Qingwei saidon Monday.
The first one, an experimental satellite, will blast off at the end of April.
For the first time, the country will send into orbit a "seed satellite" specially designed for seed-breeding in space, he said. It is scheduled for September.
The recoverable satellite will enable scientists to try to cultivate high-yield and high-quality plant varieties after the seeds are exposed to special environments such as cosmic radiation and micro-gravity, said a Chinese daily quoting the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Zhang said another key satellite to be launched in 2006 is SinoSat 2, the country's first direct broadcasting satellite, which is expected to beam TV programmes to even the most remote rural regions in the country.
He said that SinoSat 2 will be based on the country's newest generation of satellite platform Dongfanghong 4, which has a designed life mission of 15 years.
Other satellites in the pipeline include a meteorological satellite and an oceanic satellite that will monitor ocean colour and red tides, he said.