China 'has Australia space tracking station'

November 6, 2011
China's Long March-2F/H rocket blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Gansu on Tuesday. China has acquired a space tracking station in Australia, its first such facility in a close US ally, a news report said on Saturday.

China has acquired a space tracking station in Australia, its first such facility in a close US ally, a news report said on Saturday.

The station in remote Dongara, about 350 kilometres (217 miles) north of Perth in western Australia, was used during Tuesday's launch of the VIII mission, Hong Kong daily the South Morning Post reported.

The United States and the have long had tracking facilities in Australia, including the joint US-Australian Pine Gap satellite station established decades ago near the central outback town of Alice Springs.

Reaction to the Chinese station, its first in a key US ally's territory, will be closely watched to see whether Washington will raise objections.

reportedly see Dongara as a major step forward for the rising power's ambitious programme, which it holds as a symbol of its growing global stature.

Xie Jingwen, deputy chief designer of the tracking and command system for Beijing's manned space programme reportedly lauded the move, saying China had "added Australia to its global network of ground stations".

The Dongara station is its fifth outside China, with one each in Pakistan and Chile, another in Kenya and one in Namibia.

The facility was built by the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and has been leased to Beijing, with key components shipped from China, according to the newspaper.

A senior SSC official in China told the Post that the Chinese space authorities were renting the site, including buildings and equipment, after Australian authorities had inspected the facility and approved the deal.

The Australian defence ministry had no comment on Dongara.

SSC could not be immediately reached for comment but on its website the company said the location of the Dongara Satellite Station was "particularly advantageous for accessing low-inclination ".

"It is also frequently used for geostationary orbit raising operations, and very frequently is used for first acquisition of launch vehicle and spacecraft telemetry at orbit insertion/deployment," it said.

The Shenzhou VIII spacecraft successfully docked with the Tiangong-1 experimental module on Thursday, a crucial step for China towards its goal of setting up a manned space station by 2020.

Explore further: China to launch spacecraft on Tuesday: Xinhua

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1.7 / 5 (9) Nov 06, 2011
Thanks for the story.

This is an intriguing development in the untold story of international relations.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
not rated yet Nov 06, 2011
"Xie Jingwen, deputy chief designer of the tracking and command system for Beijing's manned space programme reportedly lauded the move, saying China had "added Australia to its global network of ground stations"."

Jingwen added, "haha, it's funny how, now that we are capitalist, we can just buy anything we want. We were silly to think we needed to use our military to take over. hehe"
not rated yet Nov 06, 2011
Pretty weird to see sleepy Dongara on the international news...
1 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2011
In a related development, an arXiv preprint

And a news story on Universe Today:


Suggest that Chinese space scientists may be in danger of following the footsteps of US space leaders and

a.) Ignoring experimental data that

b.) Falsify the nebular model for the formation of the Solar System [01-10]




04. www.sciencedirect...80900147






1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2011
The space station should not be the focus. The distance to common sense is to live above the clouds on planet earth. There is more common sense in trying to accomplish in living above the clouds. It is very mental to waste so much immediately on space travel when it would be much more rewarding to have a worry free existence in this planet Earth. Living above the clouds would be such a great advancement for mankind--sun, weather, pollution would greatly be diminished. I think of it as a distant society without the hassles of having to emphasize the differences in necessity.
1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2011
Sounds like the Saturday Flash Gordon serials in black & white at the local movie house long ago.
Cities in the clouds or above them. . . .nice dream. But what about radiation from outer space and our own star? If this ever comes to pass, it would be so far into the future as to have seen our race go out to live on other planets already.

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