China to launch new manned spaceship in 2013: Xinhua

BEIJING Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:32am EST

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China plans to launch its Shenzhou 10 spacecraft in early June 2013, one of the senior officials in charge of the manned space program said on Saturday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The launch marks another step forward in Beijing's ambitions for a bigger presence in space that include the construction of a space station by 2020.

The crew could include one female and two male astronauts, who are scheduled to enter the Tiangong 1 space lab module, according to Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of China's manned space program.

Niu made the remarks on the sidelines of the Communist Party congress which is meeting to choose a new leadership.

The new plan follows the successful flight of the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, which returned to Earth in late June, that put China's first woman in space and completed a manned docking test critical to Beijing's space station plan.

China is far from catching up with the established space superpowers, the United States and Russia, but the Shenzhou 9 marked China's fourth manned space mission since 2003, and comes as budget restraints and shifting priorities have held back U.S. manned space launches.

The United States will not test a new rocket to take people into space until 2017, and Russia has said manned missions are no longer a priority.

China plans an unmanned moon landing and deployment of a moon rover and its scientists have raised the possibility of sending a man to the moon, but not before 2020.

(Reporting by Aileen Wang and Nick Edwards; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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Comments (1)
krm398 wrote:
No…they’re not sending men and women into space just to make the US look bad…they see a chance to make big progress and become a space power while we argue about what to future will hold.

Will it be a new generation of welfare mothers, pumping out babys for cash? Or will it be a new generation of science, learning new things and putting us first in science once again? We are vastly inferior to almost every nation in science education right now. The cash is going for the military, and corporate bailouts, instead of letting the market take its course. Some corp fail and go under? Make a new one, let it fail, you’d let the average person fail if their ideas and money management were no good…the big corps are human too, but they PLAN to fail, its cheaper than looking for new things and ideas when they have none.

Nov 10, 2012 1:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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