The municipal government of Beijing, China, has announced its plan to support the development and promotion of commercial aerospace and satellite constellations and applications. This initiative aims to foster innovation in various areas, including the production of reusable rockets, crewed suborbital flight, software-defined satellites, flat-panel satellites, integrated satellite constellations, remote sensing, and ground segments.
The General Office of the Beijing municipal government released a notice on September 8 outlining the “Implementation Plan of Beijing Municipality for Promoting the Innovative Development of Future Industries.” This plan aligns with national-level directives and priorities established in recent years.
Key focus areas identified in the notice are information technology, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, materials, and space. Under the commercial space segment, Beijing aims to accelerate the development and production of medium and large commercial rockets, 3D printed rockets, high-thrust reusable rocket engines, and recoverable commercial payload spacecraft. Key technologies to be developed include rocket vertical recovery, suborbital crewed flight, and space debris cleanup.
The satellite-related section of the plan highlights support for communication satellites, flat-panel satellites, software-defined satellites, standardized satellite platforms, laser communications, high-precision radar and optical imaging, and low-cost phased array antennas. Objectives include the construction of high-resolution optical and radar remote sensing constellations, low-orbit Internet of Things satellites, and low-orbit navigation enhancement constellations.
These efforts align with China’s national plan for a space-ground integrated information network (SGIIN) which aims to integrate satellite capabilities for communications, remote sensing, navigation, and weather.
Beijing is home to a cluster of established state-owned and emerging commercial companies in the aerospace sector, with rocket companies predominantly located in the south of the city and satellite-related enterprises concentrated in the north. Notable companies include Landspace, iSpace, Galactic Energy, Deep Blue Aerospace, Space Pioneer, GalaxySpace, Minospace, Smart Satellite, and HEAD Aerospace.
China’s central government had previously announced plans to identify and incubate future industries as part of its 14th Five-Year Plan and long-range objectives. The municipal government of Beijing is now implementing these goals in alignment with overall national targets.
While the notice provides a broad outline of the focus areas, detailed measures such as research and development initiatives, incentives, and policy support are yet to be announced.
China’s commercial launch companies have seen significant progress in 2023, with CAS Space, Galactic Energy, iSpace, Expace, Space Pioneer, and Landspace having achieved successful launches. These companies have made significant advancements in areas such as liquid propellant launches, flat-panel satellite communications, and remote sensing capabilities.