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Development of international manned spaceflight
www.chinaview.cn 2003-10-12 20:51:39

  JIUQUAN, Gansu Province, Oct. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- International manned space exploration will develop in five major directions, namely, establishment of international space stations, space-basedflights, a moon base, a manned landing on Mars and space tourism, Zhang Qingwei, deputy chief commander of China's manned spaceflight program, has said.

  In November 1998, 16 countries, including the United States, Russia, Japan and some European countries, launched a program to establish an international space station, which is so far progressing smoothly, said Zhang.

  The international space station will weigh 420 tons, hold six or seven astronauts and have a life span of 10 to 15 years, said Zhang.

  He said the station will undertake various scientific research,including life sciences, space sciences, Earth sciences, engineering technological tests and development of commercial products.

  Humans would develop large space stations into space bases and assemble large satellites in space, said Zhang, and satellites would be sent into geosynchronous orbit by aerospace vehicles, which would cost less than being launched from the Earth.

  The moon would become the first venue for human beings outside the Earth due to low gravity, vacuum, asepsis, small magnetic field and raw materials resources similar to the Earth, said Zhang.   

  He predicted that humans would set up on the moon in 20 years, decades after the Americans first set foot there.

  The United States and Russia have reached an agreement to jointly probe Mars and have worked out a plan to send people to the planet. They plan to land manned craft on Mars in about 30 years, he said.

  Enterprises from countries like Russia, the United States and Japan have proposed space vehicles for repeated use be developed at lower cost. "In the 20 years to come, humans will travel in outer space and space tourism will ultimately become an industry,"said Zhang.

  He said major countries have funded their space undertakings with large sums of money, and international cooperation on development of space has moved forward rapidly.

  "With the development of manned spaceflight technology, mankind will constantly enhance its capability to utilize space resources and leap forward in exploration of outer space," said Zhang. Enditem

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