China says manned space station possible around 2020

Oct 27, 2010
The Long March 2F rocket carrying a Shenzhou VI blasts off at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in China's northwestern province of Gansu, 2005. China said that it planned to complete a manned space station around 2020, as the Asian nation pushes ahead with its ambitious space exploration programme.

China said Wednesday that it planned to complete a manned space station around 2020, as the Asian nation pushes ahead with its ambitious space exploration programme.

China's Manned Space Engineering Project announced in a statement that it expected to launch a space laboratory before 2016 to study key technology involved in a space station, such as living conditions for astronauts.

The country would then develop and launch a core cabin and a second laboratory module around 2020, which would be assembled in orbit into a space station, it added.

The station would study technologies involved in long-term manned space flights, the statement said.

China had already announced plans to launch two unmanned modules next year, which are expected to undergo the nation's first space docking -- an essential step towards building the space station.

These steps are all part of the nation's ambitious programme, which experts say it wants to put on a par with those of the United States and Russia.

China sees the programme as a symbol of its global stature, growing technical expertise, and the Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the formerly poverty-stricken nation.

The nation became only the third in the world to put a man in space independently -- after the United States and Russia -- when Yang Liwei piloted the one-man Shenzhou-5 in 2003.

And in September 2008, the Shenzhou-7, piloted by three astronauts, carried out China's first .

China has also made strides in , aiming to become the second country to put a man on the moon.

It launched its second lunar probe on October 1, hopes to bring a sample back to Earth in 2017, and has planned a to the moon for around 2020, according to state media.

Explore further: Ceres bright spots sharpen but questions remain

Related Stories

China preps next lunar space mission

Sep 10, 2010

China is on track to launch its second lunar satellite by year's end, as the country pursues its plans for a manned mission to the moon by 2020, state media said Friday.

China launches second lunar probe (Update 2)

Oct 01, 2010

China on Friday celebrated 61 years of communist rule with the launch of its second lunar probe -- the next step in its ambitious programme to become the second country to put a man on the moon.

Recommended for you

Ceres bright spots sharpen but questions remain

20 hours ago

The latest views of Ceres' enigmatic white spots are sharper and clearer, but it's obvious that Dawn will have to descend much lower before we'll see crucial details hidden in this overexposed splatter of ...

Rosetta's view of a comet's "great divide"

20 hours ago

The latest image to be revealed of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comes from October 27, 2014, before the Philae lander even departed for its surface. Above we get a view of a dramatically-shadowed cliff ...

How long will our spacecraft survive?

20 hours ago

There are many hazards out there, eager to disrupt and dismantle the mighty machines we send out into space. How long can they survive to perform their important missions?

Why roundworms are ideal for space studies

21 hours ago

Humans have long been fascinated by the cosmos. Ancient cave paintings show that we've been thinking about space for much of the history of our species. The popularity of recent sci-fi movies suggest that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.