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China to set up space monitoring network in 2016

Beijing: China is ready to put in place a deep space monitoring network in 2016 to support the country’s future space missions, a senior scientist has said.

The network will consist of two monitoring stations in China, one in northwestern region of Kashgar and the other in northeastern region of Jiamusi, Xinhua reported.

A third station will be in South America, Qian Weiping, chief designer of the Chang’e 2 mission’s tracking and control system, was quoted as saying.

Efforts are being made to upgrade or build monitoring stations in the three locations by equipping them with large-caliber antennas, Qian said.

The upgradation work in Kashgar and Jiamusi will be completed in 2012 to provide monitoring support for China’s lunar orbiters, Chang’e 3 and Chang’e 4, while the monitoring station in South America will be created in 2016 to assist in the lunar orbiters return to Earth, he added.

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