Credit: China Manned Space Agency

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reports that the country is accelerating its timetable for a space station.

Citing Yang Liwei, director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office and the country’s first astronaut, the station’s core section is expected to be launched in 2020. Two experiment modules of the space station will be sent into space in 2021 and 2022. Three or four manned missions and several cargo spacecraft are planned in 2021 and 2022.

Credit: CMSA

 

After construction of the main parts of the space station, a capsule holding a large optical telescope will be sent into the same orbit to fly with the station, Yang said.

Flight rate

During construction of the station, the number of manned space missions will rise to about five a year, according to the July 8 Xinhua news story.

That flight rate beats the once every two or three years when China began sending astronauts into space more than a decade ago.

The quickening pace also means astronaut recruitment will be expanded, as reported by Xinhua.

Credit: CMSE

 Handbook available

A version 1.0 handbook on the China Space Station (CSS) and its resources for international cooperation was issued May 28 by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs and China Manned Space Agency.

 

For more details, go to this earlier Inside Outer Space story:

http://www.leonarddavid.com/china-space-station-handbook-details-operations/

To read the handbook, go to:

http://www.unoosa.org/documents/doc/psa/hsti/CSS_1stAO/CSS_1stAO_Handbook_2018.pdf

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