MOSCOW, Aug. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- The Russian Federal
Space Agency (Roskosmos) on Friday invited China's first spaceman, Yang Liwei,
to make a space flight to the moon aboard the promising Russian Kliper shuttle,
the Itar-Tass news agency reported.
The invitation was offered by the head of Roskosmos, Anatoly Perminov, at a meeting in the day
with the Chinese taikonaut.
Taikonaut was coined to refer to Chinese astronauts,
who are called cosmonauts in Russia.
Perminov asked Yang: "Would you like to fly in space
aboard Kliper, say, to the moon and back?"
"Sure, as a professional taikonaut," Yang was quoted
According to the Roskosmos chief, the first flight of
the manned Kliper shuttle is scheduled for 2012.
"Complete flight qualification of the shuttle" will
be made within the next three years. Then, it will be the main transportation
vehicle for cosmonauts," he said.
One of the crew on board Kliper would be a pilot
responsible for docking and another for landing of the spaceship. The four
others would be passengers, he said.
When asked which of the two pilots he would like to
be, Yang answered: "I'd like to try flying both as the left and the right
During the meeting, Yang was also awarded a "Gagarin
medal", which is special for personages contributing to international
Yang arrived in Moscow on Monday for a visit at the
invitation of the Roskosmos. He has visited the Cosmonauts' Training Center, the
Energia Space Corporation, the Mission Control Center and the International
aerospace show MAKS-2005, which was opened a few days ago in Zhukovsky outside