China Says Manned Space Station Possible Around 2020

China’s ambitious is aiming to launch a manned space station in the next decade. From AFP:

China’s Manned Space Project announced in a statement that it expected to launch a space laboratory before 2016 to study key involved in a space station, such as living conditions for .

The country would then develop and launch a cabin and a second laboratory module around , 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.

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