China is sending more signals that it will move aggressively toward building its own satellite network in space to realized applications such as Starlink, a satellite internet constellation being constructed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
On March 7, Bao Weimin, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and director of the Science and Technology Committee of the Aerospace Science and Technology Group, said in an interview with Chinese media:
“China is planning and developing space Internet satellites and has launched test satellites. We will also establish a national satellite network company to be responsible for coordinating the planning and operation of space satellite Internet network construction.”
In 2020, satellite Internet was included in the scope of China’s New Infrastructure policy initiative, ushering the sector into a stage of explosive growth going forward.
Of course, satellite Internet in space provides many more applications beyond providing Internet access to people in remote areas, like SpaceX’s Starlink.
In its narrow definition, satellite Internet is a high-speed communication network in space, using multiple satellites to form broadband communication network coverage.
This service is more suitable for countries and regions with large areas and sparsely populated areas to solve the communication needs for areas without telecommunication base stations.
In its broad definition, satellite Internet provides satellite network solutions based on communications, navigation, and remote sensing technologies to empower various industries.
Among them, with the satellites as an infrastructure, they are equivalent to mobile towers in space. In the future, they can carry various loads and sensors and form a network to form a distributed computing platform in space.
Combining with 5G, the Industrial Internet, and the Internet of Things, it can spawn a wealth of application scenarios: equipped with 5G payloads, it can meet broadband communications; equipped with cameras, it can achieve remote sensing; with navigation enhancements, it can support autonomous driving.
Assuming that the investment in infrastructure such as satellite development, launch, and ground facilities is about worth around 100 billion yuan in China, the revenue of midstream constellation operators will reach 200 billion yuan, and the market size of ground terminals and industrial applications based on satellite Internet may reach 700 billion yuan, says Xie Tao, founder of Beijing Commsat Technology Development Co., Ltd.
He predicts that 100,000 satellites might be deployed in low earth orbit in the future. Among them, there may be 50,000 to 60,000 satellites from the United States, 30,000 to 40,000 from China, and 10,000 to 20,000 from the United Kingdom, India, Russia and other countries.
Space X alone has launched more than 1,000 satellites in a year and a half. If the scale of 30,000 to 40,000 satellites is to be realized, thousands of satellites need to be deployed every year in the next few years.
However, the current domestic production capacity of micro-satellites is less than 100 per year, so there is at least a 90% gap in supply, says Xie.
These 100,000 satellites were predicted mainly based on them being satellite Internet in its narrow definition, that is, broadband communications in the early stage.
In the later period, it may evolve to the satellite Internet in a broad sense, including the integrated satellite application network of communication, navigation such as construction machinery, oil pipeline monitoring or container monitoring.
In addition, the demand for all-weather, all-time terrestrial resource monitoring and disaster warning has increased significantly, and the market space cannot be underestimated.
Beijing Commsat Technology is positioned as a service provider for the entire industry chain of low-orbit small satellites.
Based on the narrowly defined satellite Internet, it provides one-stop services for basic operators, from constellation design and demonstration, to satellite development and batch production, to satellite terminal research and development and operation model consulting.
The company has served industry customers in environmental protection, land and resources, smart agriculture, transportation and logistics, smart government, scientific research and education.
The company’s satellite factory in Tangshan has completed the main construction of the first phase of the production plant and is expected to enter the trial operation stage of production equipment at the end of June this year.
It is understood that after the completion of this satellite factory, it will realize short-period, low-cost, and flexible mass production of 50-700 kilogram-class satellites.
Beijing Commsat Technology was founded in 2015. In February and December 2018, its successfully launched the “Junior Star One” and 7 “Ladybug Series” satellites respectively, completed the system-level verification of the satellite Internet of Things.
At the beginning of 2021, it received a billion yuan-level strategic investment from the China Internet Investment Fund. This is the seventh round of financing it has completed.
(China Money Network’s articles are curated and translated from credible Chinese media organizations with established brands, experienced editorial teams, and trustworthy journalism practices. However, we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information. For any questions, please reach out to our editorial department.)
New species of crested dinosaur identified in Mexico
A team of palaeontologists in Mexico have identified a new species of dinosaur after finding its 72 million-year-old fossilized remains almost a decade ago, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said on Thursday.
The new species, named Tlatolophus galorum, was identified as a crested dinosaur after 80% of its skull was recovered, allowing experts to compare it to other dinosaurs of that type, INAH said.
The investigation, which also included specialists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, began in 2013 with the discovery of an articulated tail in the north-central Mexican state of Coahuila, where other discoveries have been made.
“Once we recovered the tail, we continued digging below where it was located. The surprise was that we began to find bones such as the femur, the scapula and other elements,” said Alejandro Ramírez, a scientist involved in the discovery.
Later, the scientists were able to collect, clean and analyze other bone fragments from the front part of the dinosaur’s body.
The palaeontologists had in their possession the crest of the dinosaur, which was 1.32 meters long, as well as other parts of the skull: lower and upper jaws, palate and even a part known as the neurocranium, where the brain was housed, INAH said.
The Mexican anthropology body also explained the meaning of the name – Tlatolophus galorum – for the new species of dinosaur.
Tlatolophus is a mixture of two words, putting together a term from the indigenous Mexican language of Nahuatl that means “word” with the Greek term meaning “crest”. Galorum refers to the people linked to the research, INAH said.
(Reporting by Abraham Gonzalez; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)
Alberta family searches for answers in teen's sudden death after COVID exposure, negative tests – CBC.ca
A southern Alberta mother and father are grappling with the sudden, unexplained death of their 17-year-old daughter, and with few answers, they’re left wondering if she could be the province’s youngest victim of COVID-19.
Sarah Strate — a healthy, active Grade 12 student at Magrath High School who loved singing, dancing and being outdoors — died on Monday, less than a week after being notified she’d been exposed to COVID-19.
While two tests came back negative, her parents say other signs point to the coronavirus, and they’re waiting for more answers.
“It was so fast. It’s all still such a shock,” said Sarah’s mother, Kristine Strate. “She never even coughed. She had a sore throat and her ears were sore for a while, and [she had] swollen neck glands.”
Kristine said Sarah developed mild symptoms shortly after her older sister — who later tested positive for COVID-19 — visited from Lethbridge, one of Alberta’s current hot spots for the virus.
The family went into isolation at their home in Magrath on Tuesday, April 20. They were swabbed the next day and the results were negative.
‘Everything went south, super-fast’
By Friday night, Sarah had developed fever and chills. On Saturday, she started vomiting and Kristine, a public health nurse, tried to keep her hydrated.
“She woke up feeling a bit more off on Monday morning,” Kristine said. “And everything went south, super-fast.”
Sarah had grown very weak and her parents decided to call 911 when she appeared to become delirious.
“She had her blanket on and I was talking to her and, in an instant, she was unresponsive,” said Kristine, who immediately started performing CPR on her daughter.
When paramedics arrived 20 minutes later, they were able to restore a heartbeat and rushed Sarah to hospital in Lethbridge, where she died.
“I thought there was hope once we got her heart rate back. I really did,” recalled Sarah’s father, Ron.
“He was praying for a miracle, and sometimes miracles don’t come,” said Kristine.
Searching for answers
At the hospital, the family was told Sarah’s lungs were severely infected and that she may have ended up with blood clots in both her heart and lungs, a condition that can be a complication of COVID-19.
But a second test at the hospital came back negative for COVID-19.
“There really is no other answer,” Ron said. “When a healthy 17-year-old girl, who was sitting up in her bed and was able to talk, and within 10 minutes is unconscious on our floor — there was no reason [for it].”
The province currently has no record of any Albertans under the age of 20 who have died of COVID-19.
According to the Strate family, the medical examiner is running additional blood and tissue tests, in an effort to uncover the cause of Sarah’s death.
‘Unusual but not impossible’
University of Alberta infectious disease specialist Dr. Lynora Saxinger, who was not involved in Sarah’s treatment, says it is conceivable that further testing could uncover evidence of a COVID-19 infection, despite two negative test results.
However, she hasn’t seen a similar case in Alberta.
“It would be unusual but not impossible because no test is perfect. We have had cases where an initial test is negative and then if you keep on thinking it’s COVID and you re-test, you then can find COVID,” she said.
According to Saxinger, the rate of false negatives is believed to be very low. But it can happen if there are problems with the testing or specimen collection.
She says people are more likely to test positive after symptoms develop.
“The best sensitivity of the test is around day four or five of having symptoms,” she said. “So you can miss things if you test very, very early. And with new development of symptoms, it’s always a good time to re-test because then the likelihood of getting a positive test is a little higher. But again, no test is perfect.”
Sarah deteriorated so quickly — dying five days after she first developed symptoms — she didn’t live long enough to make it to her follow-up COVID-19 test. Instead, it was done at the hospital.
‘An amazing kid’
The Strate family now faces an agonizing wait for answers — one that will likely take months — about what caused Sarah’s death.
But Ron, who teaches at the school where Sarah attended Grade 12, wants his daughter to be remembered for the life she lived, not her death.
Sarah was one of five children. Ron says she was strong, active and vibrant and had plans to become a massage therapist after graduating from high school.
She played several sports and loved to sing and dance as part of a show choir. She was a leader in the school’s suicide prevention group and would stand up for other students who were facing bullying.
“She’s one of the leaders in our Hope Squad … which goes out and helps kids to not be scared,” he father said.
“She’s an amazing kid.”
Sarah would often spend hours helping struggling classmates, and her parents hope her kindness is not forgotten.
“She’d done so many good things. Honestly, I’ve got so many messages from parents saying, ‘You have no idea how much your daughter helped our kid,'” said Ron.
“This 17-year-old girl probably lived more of a life in 17 years than most adults will live in their whole lives. She was so special. I love her so much.”
China launches key module of space station planned for 2022
BEIJING (Reuters) -China launched an unmanned module on Thursday containing what will become living quarters for three crew on a permanent space station that it plans to complete by the end of 2022, state media reported.
The module, named “Tianhe”, or “Harmony of the Heavens”, was launched on the Long March 5B, China’s largest carrier rocket, at 11:23 a.m. (0323 GMT) from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre on the southern island of Hainan.
Tianhe is one of three main components of what would be China’s first self-developed space station, rivalling the only other station in service – the International Space Station (ISS).
The ISS is backed by the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. China was barred from participating by the United States.
“(Tianhe) is an important pilot project in the building of a powerful nation in both technology and in space,” state media quoted President Xi Jinping as saying in a congratulatory speech.
Tianhe forms the main living quarters for three crew members in the Chinese space station, which will have a life span of at least 10 years.
The Tianhe launch was the first of 11 missions needed to complete the space station, which will orbit Earth at an altitude of 340 to 450 km (211-280 miles).
In the later missions, China will launch the two other core modules, four manned spacecraft and four cargo spacecraft.
Work on the space station programme began a decade ago with the launch of a space lab Tiangong-1 in 2011, and later, Tiangong-2 in 2016.
Both helped China test the programme’s space rendezvous and docking capabilities.
China aims to become a major space power by 2030. It has ramped up its space programme with visits to the moon, the launch of an uncrewed probe to Mars and the construction of its own space station.
In contrast, the fate of the ageing ISS – in orbit for more than two decades – remains uncertain.
The project is set to expire in 2024, barring funding from its partners. Russia said this month that it would quit the project from 2025.
Russia is deepening ties with China in space as tensions with Washington rise.
Moscow has slammed the U.S.-led Artemis moon exploration programme and instead chosen to join Beijing in setting up a lunar research outpost in the coming years.
(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Liangping Gao; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Simon Cameron-Moore and Lincoln Feast.)
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