China To Launch Manned Space Station By 2022

First Posted: Apr 29, 2017 05:00 AM EDT

China is reportedly soon going to start the construction of a permanent crewed space station in 2019. The nation has recently conducted the first successful in-orbit refueling of its space laboratory Tiangong-2 with the help of the cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1.

Tianzhou-1 is the first cargo spaceship of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) that was launched on April 20 this year. Two days later, on April 22, it completed the first docking while orbiting the space lab. The five-day refueling process was successfully finished on April 27. The success of the mission is an important milestone for the nation’s plans to start sending astronauts to a permanent space station by 2022.

"This again announces the aspiration and ambition of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people, and our resolute confidence in becoming a major space power," Director of China Manned Space Agency Wang Zhaoyao said, according to The Economic Times report. "The successful conclusion of the mission shows that China's manned space program has entered the space station era.”

Zhaoyao also added that after the completion of the experimental stage spaceflight missions, China will enter the construction and development phase. Furthermore, as per the director, the assembling and construction of China’s 60-ton manned space station will take place between 2019 and 2022.

China’s space station program has been progressing steadily, with its crucial plans and technologies already completed and its relevant flight products examined. According to Zhaoyao, Chinese astronauts are getting ready for the space station era.

The space station crew will be expected to stay aboard for three to six months and maybe even longer during missions in the future. As per Deccan Chronicle, he also said that Tianzhou-1 was the last flight mission of China’s manned space program before the construction of a permanent manned space station.

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