China Says Manned Space Station Possible Around 2020
China’s ambitious space program is aiming to launch a manned space station in the next decade. From AFP:
China’s Manned Space Engineering Project announced in a statement that it expected to launch a space laboratory before 2016 to study key technology involved in a space station, such as living conditions for astronauts.
The country would then develop and launch a core cabin and a second laboratory module around 2020, which would be assembled in orbit into a space station, it added.
The station would study technologies involved in long-term manned space flights, the statement said.
China had already announced plans to launch two unmanned modules next year, which are expected to undergo the nation’s first space docking — an essential step towards building the space station.