China All Set To Make Its Mark In Space; China Manned Space Agency Announced Its Plans For 2017
China has been eyeing for a position in space for far too long. The Chinese presence in space is meager as compared to major competitors like the U.S. and Russia. However, after the latest announcement made by China Manned Space Agency, it is highly probable that 2017 will be a turning point in the space history of China. The agency plans to launch at least 30 space missions, starting with the launch of Tianzhou-1 spacecraft cargo resupply mission, most probably in April 2017.
Chinese scientists and space agencies have geared up, after Xi Jinping, President of China, vowed to advance the country's space presence. First in its plan is the launch of its Tianzhou-1 spacecraft aboard the Long March-7 Y2 rocket, from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, Hainan. The cargo load spacecraft has already been moved to the Hainan from Tianjin, where it was kept earlier. The spacecraft will soon be assembled and tested in Wenchang Satellite Launch Center. If all goes as planned, then the spacecraft will be launched in April. It will be carrying 2 tons of fuel and 6 more tons of payloads for the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, News Nation reported.
The launch of the cargo mission was preceded by the Tiangong-2 manned mission launched in October 2016, which carried astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong to the Chinese Tiangong-2 space laboratory. The astronauts spent one month in orbit and returned on Nov. 18, 2016. By doing so, China has laid down its claim on the next functional space laboratory, which will be of huge advantage after the International Space Station retires in 2024, Tech Times reported.
Furthermore, the China Manned Space Agency will also be participating in the global race to reach Moon and the ever so famous mission Mars and search for alien life on it. China is expecting that it will be able to launch its lunar missions by 2018, which will study the dark side of the Moon, although the China Manned Space Agency's plans regarding Mars mission remain undisclosed till now.