Feeds

China denies 'space station in 2020' stories

Will get one, won't say when

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Chinese government has moved to damp speculation that it will establish a manned space station by 2020.

The BBC and AFP report this morning that rocket designer Long Lehao (of the People's Republic space programme) told the China Daily of plans to orbit a "a small-scale 20-tonne workshop" by 2020. This was headlined "China plans space station in 2020".

China has come from nowhere in recent years to join the top three space nations. It has now put a man in space, shot down a satellite, and placed a probe in orbit round the Moon. A manned space station would be another coveted badge of technical achievement; and the necessary heavy-lift rocket tech could have pleasing effects on the small, antiquated Chinese ICBM force too.

However, it now appears that everyone may have got a little carried away. Xinhua reports that the China National Space Administration (CNSA) denies any timetable for a space station.

"China will focus on manned space flight and lunar exploration in the near future," CNSA spokesman Li Guoping told reporters. "No plans issued by the government so far have said we are going to develop a space station."

The Xinhua report states that the PRC is embarking on its "second stage" of spaceflight, to include an orbiting "space laboratory attended to by humans for short periods". This will be used to gain expertise in spacewalks, docking manoeuvres, etc. Presumably, this is what Long Lehao actually meant.

There will be a third stage featuring "a permanent space station and a space engineering system," but the CNSA very firmly did not say when. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.