China to build supercomputing centre to analyse data obtained from space

China supercomputing centre
A motorcyclist passes a model of Planet Earth at a space science museum in Wenchang, Hainan province, China November 22, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s southern spaceport of Wenchang will build a $3 billion supercomputing centre by year-end to analyse data obtained from space, according to state media on Tuesday.

With a planned investment of 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion), the supercomputing centre will provide big data services for industries including the aerospace and marine sectors starting in 2022, state-backed Hainan Daily said.

In the next decade, China envisions massive constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking coal shipments.

To meet the demand for satellite launches, China will have to build bigger rockets that can carry more satellites or build more launch sites, or both. China currently has four launch sites – three inland and one in Wenchang in Hainan province.

Wenchang is a former suborbital test centre. It is China’s fourth and southernmost space vehicle launch facility (spaceport). It has been specially selected for its low latitude, which is only 19° north of the equator, which will allow for an increase in payload necessary for launching China’s future space station. (Wikipedia)

Earlier this month, the government said it was planning a new commercial space base in Hainan to meet growing demand for launches.

The government also supports Hainan in its international cooperation on launching commercial satellites and payloads, and research and development in commercial spaceflight.

($1 = 6.4933 yuan)

(Reporting by Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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