CHINA / National

First 'seed satellite' set to blast off
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-24 05:53

The planting of space tomatoes and green peppers in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, which started in 1999, has raised average yield by 10 to 20 per cent, with the fruits bigger and of better quality, according to earlier newspaper reports.

The Shijian-8 recoverable satellite will blast off aboard a Long March 2C rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Northwest China's Gansu Province.

China is only the third nation capable of recovering satellites and has launched 22 recoverable satellites with one failure.

A conference was held on Saturday in Beijing by the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence to mark the accomplishment of the building of the breeding satellite.

The commission presides over the whole Shijian-8 project, while the Ministry of Agriculture is in charge of the breeding of plant seeds and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CAST) is responsible for designing and building the satellite, and studying the space environment for breeding.

Zhang Qingwei, president of the CAST, told China Daily earlier that China is scheduled to send nine satellites into orbit this year.

In addition to the space-breeding satellite, the country will put into space a meteorological satellite, an oceanic satellite, and SinoSat 2, which is a direct broadcasting satellite capable of beaming TV programmes to even the most remote rural regions in the country.  

Page: 12

Related Stories