China denies setting timetable for a space station

November 14th, 2007 - 10:17 am ICT by admin  
A China National Space Administration (CNSA) spokesman said: “No plans issued by the government so far has said we are going to develop a space station.”

On Wednesday, top rocket expert Long Lehao, who is the leading designer of Long March 3A, the launch vehicle for the country’s first lunar probe Chang’e-1, said China has been implementing a three-stage manned space flight program, which was set up in 1992.

He said that Beijing has completed the first stage of the program, which is about sending unmanned spacecraft and a manned spacecraft into near-earth orbit, conducting observations of the earth and scientific experiments in space, and bringing the astronaut safely back to the earth.

China has successfully carried out two manned space missions during the last four years, including the first by Shenzhou V, with China’s first taikonaut Yang Liwei on it, in 2003.

In the second stage, China plans to make more breakthroughs in manned space mission, such as manned space flight carrying more than one person and lasting more than one day, space walking of astronauts, and docking between capsule and space module.

On this basis, China will put in orbit a space laboratory attended to by humans for short periods and establish a fully equipped space engineering system.

The launch of Shenzhou VI is a major mark of the beginning of the second stage, scientists said.

In the third stage, China will build a permanent space station and a space engineering system. Astronauts and scientists will travel between the earth and the space station to conduct scientific experiments of larger scale.

Li said the currently operational International Space Station, jointly built by 16 nations, including the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, Brazil and 11 member countries of the European Space Agency, has provided convenience for space experiment. (ANI)

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