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India ahead in satellite launches, admits China

21 February 2017

India has done a better job than China in promoting satellite launch technology, which could prompt Beijing to fast-track commercialisation of its rocket launches to vie for the world's small satellite launch market, Chinese officials said on Monday.


''India can send commercial satellites into at lower costs, giving the country's competitiveness in the global race for the burgeoning commercial space businesses," Zhang Yonghe, director with the new technology department of the Shanghai Engineering Centre for Microsatellites, said.

China may fast-track the commercialisation of its rocket launches after India's success , Chinese-state run media quoted Chinese officials as saying in a report, titled India's satellite launch ramps up.

Zhang believes that India did a better job promoting its launch services internationally than China, the report said.

Acknowledging that after reaching Mars ahead of China, India again stole a march last week by putting 104 satellites into orbit from a single rocket (See: Isro leaps into history with launch of 104 satellites in one go), Zhang said, "China will likely fast-track the commercialisation of its rocket launches to vie for the world's burgeoning small satellite launch market.''

"Wednesday's launch is India's latest triumph for its space programme," a Global Times report said.

"In 2014, India became the fourth country to successfully send a spacecraft to orbit Mars, signalling a regional rivalry with China, which suffered a failure in its Mars mission in 2012," it said.

"Nearly all of its 103 smaller satellites are from other countries including Israel, Kazakhstan, Switzerland and the US," it pointed out.

After the Indian Space Research Organisation's successful feat, the daily, part of the ruling Communist Party of China publications, had said the achievement made Indians proud but it sought to belittle the significance saying that its impact is "limited".

While praising the record launch as "India's triumph", Monday's report also said "With respect to the research and development of both military and commercial rocket launch services, India lags behind China, the US and Russia.''

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