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China has planned to carry out more than 40 space mission launches in 2020.

The launch missions include lunar, interplanetary and space infrastructure missions.

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has said that its major goals include completing the Beidou navigation satellite system, launching missions to Mars and a lunar sample return, and test launches of three new launch vehicles, SpaceNews reported.

Other activities will include launches of the Apstar-6D communications satellite based on a new DFH-4E bus, Hongyan low-Earth orbit internet satellites, remote sensing and weather satellites and commercial payloads.

A new generation recoverable satellite for microgravity research is also slated.

China has led the global launch tables for the past two years as it builds a range of space infrastructure comparable to major space players.

The expanding activity reflects growing ambitions in exploration, remote sensing, commercial constellations and new areas including low-Earth orbit satellite internet access.

CASC, a state-owned defense contractor, carried out 27 launches involving 66 satellites across 2019, with one failure, said board chairman Wu Yansheng.

The country carried out a total of 34 orbital launches last year.

A number of CASC’s major plans can now move forward following a successful December 27 return-to-flight of the Long March 5, China’s most powerful launcher.

The 5-meter-diameter, 57-meter-tall Long March 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle is now clear to launch China’s first independent interplanetary mission — a Mars orbiter and rover — during a narrow launch window across late July to early August.

The Long March 5 failed in its second flight in July 2017, delaying the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission and the construction of the Chinese Space Station.

2020 will see China attempt the first launch of a rocket capable of vertical takeoff, vertical landing.

The Long March 8 will be able to launch a 4.5-5 metric ton payload to SSO and 2.8 tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).

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