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China commercial space travels expected by 2024

Reporter: Yang Chengxi 丨 CCTV.com

11-01-2016 16:41 BJT

For 200 thousand US dollars you may soon be able to boldly go where few men have gone before.

Spacecraft manufacturers at the Zhuhai airshow in Southern China say they are trying to make recreational trips into outer space a reality by 2024.

China's Long March Launch Vehicles have pushed numerous spacecraft into the stars over the past 30 years, and the company now claims 15 percent of global market share in the transportation sector.

The manufacturer says it is planning to build space cars to let tourists experience space travel for a mere 200 thousand US dollars.
"We want to build two types of spacecraft. One weights 10 ton and will fly at 90 kilometers above ground. Another weights 100 ton and will go as high as 120 kilometers. The first one can carry as much as 3 to 5 people and give them about 20 minutes of space experience." Han Qingping,president of Long March Launch Vehicle Tech.Co said.

Tech companies such as Alibaba are also commencing countdown on the commercialization of outer space. Alibaba is partnering with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and the China Space Museum to launch the world's first e-commerce satellite by next year. Alibaba officials say the project has significant practical functions.

"We will use the satellite to monitor growth of agricultural products on the ground and determine which region would have a better harvest. In this way we can better coordinate the sales of produce across our entire e-commerce platform." said Liu Bo,Alibaba Group's space coop. specialist.

It's estimated that mankind's ambition to explore strange new worlds had become a 330 billion US dollar sector by 2015, and 76 percent of that involved commercial ventures. With more than 20 types of commercial use launch vehicles now in the research stage, maybe it's nearer time to put those helmets on than many people think.

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