China Space Program: Tian-gong station to host international scientists
China has invited international scientists to carry out scientific projects at its Tian-gong space station. The China Manned Space Agency and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs made the announcement during a meeting in Austria on Wednesday. Ning Hong has more.
Beijing says its first space station, the Tian-gong, is not just for China, but for all humanity. And to show this, it's inviting nine scientific projects from 17 countries and 23 entities to carry out tests on board the space station.
LIN XIQIANG SPOKESMAN, CHINA MANNED SPACE AGENCY "Selection does not solely depend on advanced technology. We also consider the fact that the level of development may vary in different countries. So, as long as the project helps improve scientific research and studies on space in their country, it will have our support."
The Tian-gong space station - which is still under construction - is carrying out some complex tests. Inside, it has 16 scientific experiment cabinets. While on the outside, it has an exposed experiment platform. There's also an optics module, which accompanies the space station in orbit.
ZHANG WEI DIRECTOR, TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING CENTER FOR SPACE UTILIZATION CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES "After building the space station, we will continue to attract more projects. The space station's life-span may reach ten years, so there will be more chances for Chinese scientists to conduct their research in space."
To ensure transparency and fairness in the selection process, China invited leading experts from related areas to join the evaluation team - about one of five of these are from overseas. China hopes to complete the Tian-gong space station around 2022.
NING HONG BEIJING "After decades of effort, China's space industry is shifting from independent development to international cooperation. China's space station is going to be a new frontier, not just for China but for the entire world. NING HONG, CGTN, Beijing."