China plans to launch more than 100 satellites before 2020 to watch every corner of the country. A “large surveying network” would be set up to monitor water reserves, forests, farmland and city construction. “The aim is that, at any time and any place, one can obtain necessary data on any event through watching the Earth from space.
China regularly sends research satellites into orbit and in October last year became the third nation successfully to put a man in space when a single astronaut orbited Earth 14 times. Last month, the retrievable chamber of China’s 20th recoverable satellite returned to Earth with a bang, crashing through the roof of a house. In August, China launched a satellite that carried out land and mapping surveys for several days before returning to Earth.