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Nation expected to complete space station by 2023

中国日报网 2013-09-25 10:21

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China will complete its first space station within 10 years and be able to send crews of up to six people for short-term missions, according to the 64th International Astronautical Congress.

At the congress, which has been held annually since 1950, China released a host of details about its space station to around 3,600 delegates from all over the world.

"Room in the station will be no less than 60 square meters, which is enough for astronauts to move freely," said Xu Dazhe, general manager of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, at the five-day event that began on Monday in Beijing.

He said the station will also be able to support three astronauts on long-term missions.

But more research and development will be needed to complete the space station, Zhou Jianping, chief designer of the manned space program, told China news on Monday. He said China will be able to launch the planned space station in 10 years.

On Tuesday, Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut, said the nation is also willing to accept foreign astronauts for future missions.

Xu said that China will launch the Tiangong-2 space laboratory in around two years to test technologies in renewable life support and in-orbit refueling, adding that perfecting the technologies will be essential for the planned space station.

The country successfully carried out its first manual space docking, another essential step in building a space station, in June last year when three Chinese astronauts - Liu, Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang - piloted Shenzhou IX to link up with Tiangong-1.

China became the third country to launch a human into space in 2003 and has been rapidly expanding its space program.

Questions:

1. When will China complete its first space station?

2. How many astronauts will it support during a long term mission?

3. Who is China’s first female astronaut?

Answers:

1. Within 10 years.

2. Three.

3. Liu Yang.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Anne Ruisi is an editor at China Daily online with more than 30 years of experience as a newspaper editor and reporter. She has worked at newspapers in the U.S., including The Birmingham News in Alabama and City Newspaper of Rochester, N.Y.

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