China will strive to establish an economic zone in space by the middle of the century, a senior official at the country’s main state-owned space-program contractor has said, according to a government newspaper report.
Bao Weimin, who is the chief of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s science and technology commission, said Wednesday at a forum in Beijing that the country plans to set up the economic zone in cislunar space — the area lying inside the moon’s orbit — within the next few decades. His comments were reported Friday by the Science and Technology Daily, a newspaper affiliated to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Citing the vast economic potential of the project, Bao said in future China will expand research into reliable, low-cost aerospace transport systems featuring regular spaceflights to and from Earth. The country will seek to master the basic technology by 2030, build such a system by 2040, and establish the economic zone sometime around 2050.
The zone could generate output of $10 trillion by midcentury, the newspaper report said, citing unnamed experts.
China’s space sector is developing rapidly, with both state-owned and commercial aerospace players notching notable achievements in recent years. In July, Interstellar Glory Space Technology became the first private Chinese space company to launch a rocket into orbit. And in June, the country’s space agency announced the successful launch of a rocket from a sea-based platform, the first time a nation has done so using its own technology.
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