China Plans to Send Taikonauts on the Moon by 2030
- Daily Tribune
Xiqiang added that the mission will focus on mastering manned spaceflight technology and preparing the ground for further exploration of the Moon.
Announcing the plan at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, Xiqiang revealed that his country wants to conduct scientific exploration and related technology demonstrations on the surface of Earth's natural satellite.
China also wants to hone technologies related to manned return trips. He said a Moon landing is targeted for 2030, but did not give a more precise time.
"CMSA intends to develop a short-term changeover and stay system for crews on the Moon while exploring opportunities for human-robot integrated testing," he said.
Chinese taikonauts will also moonwalk, collect samples and conduct research, space officials said.
Xiqiang said that China has deployed a near-Earth human space station and human round-trip transportation system, referring to the Tiangong facility.
The space station was completed last November and is currently circling the planet in low orbit with a crew of three.
If the lunar mission is successful, China will lead manned missions from low Earth orbit to space and help deepen mankind's knowledge of the origin and evolution of the Moon and the solar system.
China is developing the necessary hardware to fulfill its ambitions, including a next-generation rocket that is expected to make its maiden flight in 2027, according to CMSA officials.
Earlier this year, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson described Washington and Beijing as entering a space race after the United States announced plans to send American astronauts back to the Moon in 2025.
Nelson acknowledged that Beijing's space program has achieved great success in recent years, but warned that China could claim parts of the Moon.
China's Foreign Ministry rejected the claim, saying it is engaged in normal and reasonable space endeavors. Beijing accuses the United States of waging a smear campaign targeting Chinese space.