Image credit: Shujianyang Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

China’s future space station plans include sending two piloted spacecraft and one or two cargo spacecraft into space every year.

This plan will be followed after the full completion of the country’s space station construction achieved in late 2022.

A statement from the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) indicates that the country’s space station project has officially entered the “application and development stage.”

Image credit: CNSA/CMSA/CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Upcoming piloted flights

According to the flight mission plan, the Shenzhou-16 piloted spacecraft will be launched in May and be docked at the radial port of the core module.

The Shenzhou-17 crewed spacecraft will be launched in October, docking at the front port of the core module.

According to China Central Television (CCTV), during the two crewed flight missions this year, the Shenzhou-16 and Shenzhou-17 taikonauts will conduct spacewalking chores and perform cargo airlock extravehicular missions.

In addition, they will carry out in-space science experiments and technical experiments, CCTV adds. There will also be work on platform management, astronaut support, and science education activities.

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