by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Mar 05, 2012
China will have to test its docking, logistics and resource recycling technologies if it wants to establish a manned space station by 2020, a renowned Chinese scientist said Thursday.
Qi Faren, former chief designer of China's Shenzhou spacecraft, said the technologies related to extravehicular activity, docking, logistics and recycling are essential for the establishment of a manned space station.
Chinese astronauts previously engaged in extravehicular activity during the September 2008 Shenzhou-7 mission, and a docking maneuver was accomplished by the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 space lab module in November 2011.
This year's planned launches for the Shenzhou-9 and -10 spacecraft will also feature rendezvous and docking operations with the orbiting Tiangong-1, with the Shenzhou-9 scheduled for launch between June and August, a spokesman for China's manned space program said earlier.
While testing its docking technology, China will have to develop a cargo ship to transport supplies and lab facilities, said Qi, also a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. The top political advisory body is scheduled to start its annual session on Saturday.
China will not be able to establish a manned space station until water and oxygen recycling systems are ready for use, Qi said.
"China has announced that its scientists will work with international counterparts in building the space station," Qi said.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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