Over the past five years, China has completed 152 launches into space, more than any other country in the world. The country will begin the New Year of the next five-year plan with more than 40 launches, including the launch of the base module of the future space station into orbit. Thus, China will become the third country after the United States and the USSR to build its own space home in orbit.
“China’s manned space station project will enter a critical stage and will become the top priority of the space program during the year.”– said today a representative of CAST (China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation). The main module of the first space station, Tiangong, will be launched in the spring by the Changzheng-5 launch vehicle, a new heavy rocket successfully tested late last year. The construction of the station is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022, which will require a total of 12 launches.
According to Chinese state media, astronauts are already preparing for the mission and for future research work in orbit. The space program also includes preparation for a flight to the moon with a crew and continual improvement of the Beidou navigation system. Looking far ahead, China expects to create a manned lunar orbital station in 2045, but to implement these plans it is necessary to solve a lot of technical problems, in which the United States is far ahead of China, including the reusable use of parts of launch vehicles.
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