China plans to launch four manned spacecraft in next two years

BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) — China plans to launch four manned spacecraft as part of its space station construction program in the next two years, said an official with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) Thursday.

China’s manned space program will be very busy in 2021 and 2022, said Wu Yanhua, vice administrator of the CNSA, at a press conference on China’s Chang’e-5 lunar mission.

Wu said a total of 11 missions to build China’s space station are planned for the next two years, including the construction of the core module that is scheduled to be launched in the first half of next year, two lab capsules, as well as four manned craft and four cargo craft.

A large number of in-orbit scientific experiments will then be carried out on China’s space station, he added.

In October, the China Manned Space Agency announced that the country’s manned space program had entered the mission preparation stage with the selection of a new group of 18 reserve astronauts.

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