China for promotion of peaceful cooperation in space

November 14th, 2007 - 2:23 am ICT by admin  
Li Xueyong, Vice-Minister of Science and Technology, said China is seeking to take part in the International Space Station program, which already includes the U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada, Brazil and 11 members of the European Space Agency.

“We hope to become the 17th partner of the global US-led project,” Li told reporters on the sidelines of the 17th CPC Congress.

The International Space Station orbits the Earth at an altitude of approximately 360 km, a type of orbit usually termed as low Earth orbit. Through the space station mankind maintains a permanent presence in space, with a minimum of at least two people on board, since the first crew entered on November 2, 2000.

“China and the US need smooth cooperation in space exploration, instead of a space race,” The China Daily quoted Li, as saying.

China will soon launch its first circumlunar satellite, as part of its ambitious moon exploration program. Development of the satellite, called Chang’e I after the goddess Chang’e who flew to the moon, and its carrier Long March 3A, is now complete.

Li also said the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, China’s top legislature, has already approved the nation’s plans to join other countries in constructing an experimental fusion reactor, which currently has a 15.57 billion dollar budget.

He said an international organization responsible for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) would be set up on October 24.

Li said participation in the ITER project was part of China’s systematic plan for developing cutting-edge fusion technologies.

China is responsible for 9.1 percent of the total ITER budget, an equal percentage with each of the other five participating countries. The other partners are the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the US. (ANI)

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