China's Five-Year Space Plans Described in New Report
December 30, 2011 11:40 AM
The paper reveals a blueprint of China's space-related intentions as well as its space principles, which is not to wage a space war
A paper describing China's space plans for the next five years shows that it's going to be an ambitious journey through the end of 2016, comprising of space laboratories, manned spaceships and more.
The paper, which was released Thursday, reveals a blueprint of China's space-related intentions over the next five years as well as its space principles, which is not to wage a space war.
China's space program, which is ran by the military, made the U.S. a bit nervous four years ago after it fired a ground-based missile into one of its own dead satellites. The U.S. was concerned that this could
lead to the need for a space military
in case of war. In fact, a report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) last month warned the U.S. of China's plans to attack U.S. space defenses.
However, China's paper insists that its intentions are good. Its space principles resemble those spelled out in previous reports of China's space progress, which consist of peaceful development, enhancing international cooperation and deep space exploration.
"China always adheres to the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and opposes weaponization or any arms race in outer space," said the recent paper.
The paper further detailed China's plans through the end of 2016, which includes the construction of
, space laboratories, ship freighters and a manned spaceship.
China plans to use probes to explore the moon's surface as well as asteroids, planets and the sun. A spacecraft will also be used to study black holes and celestial bodies close to Earth. Space debris will be studied as well in an effort to create systems that protect spacecrafts from such debris.
In addition, China hopes to improve launch vehicles, meteorological satellites, communications and broadcasting to form a global satellite navigation system.
With these changes and additions, China hopes to create a progressive space program worthy of matching the U.S. and Russia's programs. It has already come a long way in the past decade alone, from launching a man into space, orbiting and collecting data from the moon and successfully launching several Long March rockets.
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