China’s eventual goal is to have a space station and assign a man on the moon.
Starting in 2012, China over the next five years will begin to accelerate its space program after it has gained momentum this year.
China has made progress the in the last quarter of this year when a rocket carrying the unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou 8, blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gansu Province.
In a relatively short time, China has already made major breakthroughs in their space programs, although it has yet to level off the advancement and experience made by the United States and Russia in space technology.
In 2003, China became the third country behind the U.S. and Russia to launch a man into space and completed the spacewalk in 2008.
In 2007, China’s first moon orbiter, Chang’e 1, lifts off from the launch pad at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan province, launching its first lunar probe.
Later this year of 2011, China has demonstrated automated docking between its Shenzhou 8 craft and the Tiangong 1 module, which will form part of a future space laboratory.
It has already made substantial progress with its ambitious lunar and human spaceflight programs, but its latest five-year plan beginning next year signals an acceleration.
By last quarter of 2016, China will launch space laboratories, manned spaceship and ship freighters, and make technological preparations for the construction of space stations, according to the white paper setting out China’s space progress and future missions.
Its space principles, including peaceful development, enhancing international cooperation and deep space exploration, are largely unchanged from its previous two documents detailing the progress of China’s space missions, released in 2000 and 2006.
China places great emphasis on the development of its space industry, which is seen as a symbol of national prestige.
The Chinese government’s policy is to ‘reinforce’ space cooperation with developing countries and ‘value’ space cooperation with developed countries.
‘China always adheres to the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and opposes any arms race in outer space,’ today’s white paper has said.