China plans to build a satellite industry park in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province that can make as many as 120 satellites a year, the Global Times learned from the project contractor on Wednesday.
According to China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the Wuhan satellite industry park, a new addition to the city's national space industrial base, will become operational in 2020 and will manufacture 120 satellites for general use, each weighing less than a ton.
A rocket assembly plant is also scheduled to start operation by the end of 2019, which will enable the country to manufacture 20 more rockets a year.
Business insiders said the manufacturing and assembly plants will boost the country's competitiveness in the low-orbit satellite sector.
A satellite researcher surnamed Liu from Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province, told the Global Times on Wednesday that there is limited remaining space in space for low-orbit satellites, and the faster a country or company can make and launch satellites, the better it can develop its own commercial satellite business.
U.S.-based SpaceX is building the Starlink constellation, which is reportedly set to eventually consist of 42,000 satellites, and has already sent batches of 60 mini satellites into orbit on a single rocket. The London-based Oneweb also plans to build a network of 650 low-orbit satellites, according to media reports.
Chinese space manufacturers and research bodies also plan to launch hundreds of satellites to form constellations, such as CASIC's Hongyun Project, which is to consist of 156 satellites and is expected to be operational by around 2023.