BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhuanet) -- China will strive to
build its own space station over the next 15 years, according to chief designer
of China's manned space program Wang Yongzhi.
Wang made the remark when delivering a report to some 100 high school students from Beijing, Hong Kong and Macao on
Sunday, according to Monday's Beijing News.
Wang said that China has invested 18 billion yuan
(2.18 billion US dollars) in its manned space program over the past 11 years,
far lesser than orginally expected.
Under this program, China is to construct a permanent
manned space station, which will take about 15 years to complete, the paper
China followed in the footsteps of the Soviet Union
and the United States to achieve manned space flight last October, when
astronaut Yang Liwei orbited the earth 14 times.
"China will also conduct a lunar orbiting program,"
Wang was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Wang said that due to financial reasons,
China's lunar probe is not to send an astronaut to the moon, but to launch a
satellite which orbits the moon.
Wang, a 72-year-old academician of the Chinese
Academy of Engineering (CAE), has been chief designer of China's manned
spaceprogram since 1992. Enditem