Welcome to the Department of the Air Force's China Aerospace Studies Institute   

CASI Banner

China’s SJ-21 Framed as Demonstrating Growing On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM) Capabilities

  • Published
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute

     China launched its most recent practice satellite ShiJian-21 (SJ-21) into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) on October 24, 2021, Beijing time and Chinese state media indicated the satellite would “test and verify debris mitigation technology.” SJ-21 has since entered geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) and moved into close proximity with another object, which is either its apogee kick motor (AKM) or a sub-satellite, according to the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron and other space watchers.

     A historical examination of publicly available Chinese language materials, when framed with knowledge of trends in the global space industry, reveals that one can reasonably argue that SJ-21 is probably going to be China’s second On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM) practice-series satellite (Shijian) in GEO.  

Click here to read the full article