China wants 13,000 satellites
January 31, 2022
By Chris Forrester
Local reports seem to confirm China’s intentions to build and launch 13,000 low Earth orbiting satellites. The mega-constellation would rival the existing Starlink system from SpaceX, the UK and India-backed OneWeb scheme and a planned similar constellation from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) has called for an orderly development of small satellites, and this latest plan is part of China’s ‘national network’ (‘Guo Wang’) satellite internet project.
The plan, first rumoured in April 2021, calls for 12,992 satellites in orbits ranging from 499 kms to 1144 kms in altitude and would be looked after by China Spacesat and state-owned giant China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).
China has earlier applied to Geneva’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) back in 2020 for orbital and frequency rights.