Space power China to build ground stations on Antarctica to support satellites

BEIJING: China, only the third country to put a man in space after the Soviet Union and the United States, is to build ground stations in Antarctica to back its network of ocean monitoring satellites, state media said on Thursday (Feb 2).

China’s global network of ground stations to support a growing number of satellites and outer space ambitions has drawn concern from some nations that it could be used for espionage, a suggestion China rejects.

In 2020, Sweden’s state-owned space company, which had provided ground stations that helped fly Chinese spacecraft and transmit data, declined to renew contracts with China or accept new Chinese business due to “changes” in geopolitics.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Group is to build the stations at the Zhongshan research base, one of two permanent Chinese research stations on Antarctica, after winning the tender with its 43.95 million yuan (US$6.53 million) bid, state-controlled China Space News reported.

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