[FPSPACE] More reportage on China's five-year space plan

Peter Pesavento pjp961 at svol.net
Fri Dec 30 16:43:38 EST 2011

>From the Telegraph (UK)





China declares plans for mission to the moon

China has declared its intent to send a man to the moon, aiming to become
the first nation to reach the lunar surface since the last American mission
in 1972. 

7:00AM GMT 30 Dec 2011

A white paper published on Thursday laid out the country's five-year plan
for the development on new satellites, spacecraft and a space station and
provided the official confirmation of China
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/> 's lunar ambitions. 

The landing is not expected until at least 2020 but under the government's
blueprints "new technological breakthroughs" in human space flight will be
achieved by 2016. 

The country hopes to complete it first space station in the same year, a
goal encouraged by the successful mission to dock two unmanned spacecraft in
orbit last month. 

"Chinese people are the same as people around the world," Zhang Wei, an
official with China's National Space Administration, told the Financial

"When looking up at the starry sky, we are full of longing and yearning for
the vast universe." 

Two Chinese flights are expected in the 2012, nine years after Yang Liwei
became the first "taikonaut" to reach space. 

The scale of China's plans come in stark contrast to those of the United
States, the first and only nation to reach the moon in 1969. 

George W Bush proposed an American return to the moon but the programme was
halted by Barack Obama, citing the enormous cost. 

In July, the space shuttle Atlantis made its final landing, ending the
30-year era of the American space shuttle. 

No human set foot on the moon since December 1972 when American astronauts
landed as part of the Apollo 17 mission. 

Although the space programme is being run by the Chinese military, the white
paper insists the country has no ambitions for weapons in space. 

"China always adheres to the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and
opposes weaponisation or any arms race in outer space," it reads. 

It also provides a long list of countries working with China on space
research including Britain, France, Brazil and Russia. 


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