China Plans to Have Over 100 Eyes in the Sky by 2020
Reuters | November 16 2004
BEIJING (Reuters) - China plans to launch more than 100 satellites before 2020 to watch every corner of the country, state-run China Central Television quoted a government official as saying Tuesday.
A "large surveying network" would be set up to monitor water reserves, forests, farmland, city construction and "various activities of society," a government official said without elaborating.
"The aim is that, at any time and any place, we can obtain necessary data on any event through watching the Earth from space," said Shao Liqin, an official with the Ministry of Science and Technology.
China regularly sends research satellites into orbit and in October last year became the third nation successfully to put a man in space when a single astronaut orbited Earth 14 times.
Last month, the retrievable chamber of China's 20th recoverable satellite returned to Earth with a bang, crashing through the roof of a house.
In August, China launched a satellite that carried out land and mapping surveys for several days before returning to Earth.
It was not clear from where the 100 satellites would be launched, but many of China's rockets blast off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the western province of Gansu.