China’s space station looking forward to participation of foreign astronauts

JIUQUAN, May 29 (Xinhua) — China is looking forward to and welcomes the participation of foreign astronauts in the country’s space station flight missions, said the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the CMSA, made the remarks ahead of the launch of the Shenzhou-16 crewed spaceship, which is scheduled for 9:31 a.m. (Beijing Time) on Tuesday, and will take place at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

During the development and construction of China’s space station, the country has carried out various forms of exchanges and cooperation with many foreign space agencies and international organizations.

“On the one hand, China is steadily pushing forward the planned cooperation projects with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the European Space Agency and other organizations. On the other hand, China has actively expanded exchanges with emerging space nations, focusing on in-orbit scientific experiments and applications, and joint flights for astronauts to the space station,” Lin said.

In addition, China has been actively engaged in discussions and the making of regulations pertaining to issues like space environment governance, space traffic management, and the development and utilization of space resources. These efforts have contributed to addressing common challenges of humankind in outer space, the CMSA spokesperson said.

With a complete near-Earth manned space station, a manned shuttle transportation system, and a comprehensive framework for selecting, training and supporting taikonauts, China is now able to carry out crewed missions on a regular basis with a frequency of twice a year. ■

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