China will develop rockets that can be launched into space from aircraft, a senior official told the state-run China Daily newspaper, as Beijing aims to send hundreds of satellites into orbit for military, commercial and scientific aims. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology has designed a solid-fuel rocket that could carry a 100 kg (220 lb) payload into low Earth orbit, said Li Tongyu, the head of the agency's carrier rocket development. Chinese President Xi Jinping has prioritized advancing China's space program, saying it was needed to enhance national security and defense, although its progress still lags behind the United States and Russia.
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