China Plans for 11 Missions in Next Two Years to Complete Space Station by 2023 Written 29 May 2020


China's second manned spacecraft Shenzhou-6 joined by the Long March CZ-2F rocket at the launch tower of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. | Xinhua, Zhao Jianwei; Associated Press–©

Space News reports that China “is preparing to carry out 11 missions in two years to construct a space station and will soon select a new batch of astronauts for the project.” The “first module for the Chinese space station will launch next year, said Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China’s human spaceflight program, on the sidelines of a political conference in Beijing Tuesday.” The launch “of the Tianhe core module on a Long March 5B could take place at Wenchang in early 2021. This will be followed by a crewed Shenzhou flight, from Jiuquan, and a Tianzhou cargo mission.” The 11 launches “will be conducted to complete the construction of the space station by around 2023, Zhou said.” The “three-module, 66-metric-ton space station will host three astronauts for six month rotations. Planned experiments include international projects in the areas of astronomy, space medicine, space life science, biotechnology, microgravity fluid physics, microgravity combustion and space technologies.” A “co-orbiting two-metre-aperture space telescope will also be launched following completion of the basic station configuration.”
Full Story (Space News)