China's space station effort eyes international cooperation

China's space station effort eyes international cooperation
China's Chang'e-3 rocket, carrying the Jade Rabbit rover, blasts off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan on December 2, 2013. China will launch its second orbiting space lab in two years' time, a top official said on Wednesday (Sep 10).

CHINA- China is open to cooperation with foreign nations on its manned space station project, according to a senior space official.

"We reserved a number of platforms that can be used for international cooperative projects in our future space station when we designed it," Yang Liwei, deputy director of China Manned Space Agency, said at a news conference following the opening ceremony of the 27th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers in Beijing on Wednesday.

"In addition to collaboration in applied experiments, we also designed adapters that can dock with other nations' spacecraft," he said.

Yang, China's first astronaut, who went into space in 2003, said the country is willing to deepen collaboration on its space station with other nations in a wide range of fields such as equipment development, applied technology and joint operation.

"We will share our knowledge, experience and achievements in space activities with other countries, especially developing countries," Yang added.

China plans to launch the core module of its space station in 2018 to test related technologies and engineering issues, and the whole station will become fully operational around 2022, according to Yang.

China has been in comprehensive cooperation with many foreign space agencies regarding aerospace medicine, applied sciences and astronaut selection and training.

"For instance, our scientists and engineers conducted 17 experiments pertaining to life science in space with the German Aerospace Center during the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft mission in 2011," Yang said.

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