Executive Intelligence Review


Exploration of the Unknown Is the Impetus of Advancement, Says China’s Senior Astronaut

July 10, 2018 (EIRNS)—China’s first astronaut, and current director of China’s Manned Space Engineering Office Yang Liwei, says the timetable for deploying China’s space station is being accelerated, Xinhua reported July 8. Yang said that the core module will be launched in 2020 and two experiment modules will follow in 2021 and 2022. This was, in fact the original timetable, but there had been consideration of delay, due to rocket problems.

Yang reported that during the construction of the station, the number of manned space flights will rise to about five a year. This is a dramatic upgrade and challenge for manned space operations, since previously there has been a manned flight only once every two or three years. To carry out this pace of missions, an astronaut recruitment drive has been underway, and will be expanded, Yang said.

More philosophically, Yang said China’s reform and opening up over the past four decades have “emancipated mindset,” in Xinhua’s paraphrase. And the past 20 years have seen the rapid development of space capabilities. “I’m expecting more resources for the development of the space industry,” he said. “China’s space station will be a platform for more advanced space science experiments to serve economic and social development on Earth.”

Exploration of the unknown, he said, is the impetus of human advancement.