Image credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

A Beijing exhibition is serving as backdrop for spotlighting China’s human space program – one that will focus on two major missions in the near future: the application and development of the space station, as well as human lunar exploration.

The China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) is taking part in the exhibition, kicked off Friday at the National Museum.

Ji Qiming, assistant to director of the CMSEO, told China Central Television (CCTV) that their plan for the human space program requires a series of maintenance and upgrading of space station equipment. There are two crew rotations and cargo spacecraft resupply missions that will be carried out once or twice a year.

Ji Qiming, assistant to director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO).
Image credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Resuable rockets, spacecraft

“We will also develop a new generation of Earth-space transportation system, that is, to develop a new generation of manned carrier rockets and spacecraft, which can upgrade our Earth-space transportation system and reduce the operating costs,” Ji said. “Both rockets and spacecraft can be reused.”

Ji noted that their plan for the missions also includes expanding the scale of China’s space station.

“At the same time, we will launch the expansion module of the space station at an appropriate time to further expand the size of the space station and enhance its capacity, which is the main task planning at the space station application and development stage,” Ji said.

Image credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Moon plans outlined

China’s human Moon exploration project has entered a new phase, Ji said.

“We have made breakthroughs in key technologies for the new-generation manned carrier rocket, the new-generation manned spacecraft, the lunar lander and the spacesuit for landing on moon,” said Ji.

“An implementation plan for the lunar landing stage with Chinese characteristics has taken shape. This year, we will fully implement our research and construction tasks for the lunar landing phase as scheduled. At the same time, we will also carry out a series of preliminary studies on the long-term stay of astronauts on the lunar surface, and the development and utilization of lunar resources, so as to lay a technical foundation for future lunar exploration missions of the Chinese people,” Ji said.

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