China outlines plans for space exploration

The Chinese may be a bit upset that they were never invited to the ISS party, but they aren't sitting around angry about it. The country is set to start an ambitious space exploration program that will see them eventually aiming for manned mission to the moon. The Chinese are already working on assembling their own space station in orbit to use for research and experimentation.

Some are worried about the plans the Chinese have for space even though China maintains the missions are for peaceful purposes. One reason for the fear is that China has in the past fired a missile and blown up one of its own defective satellites. The issue there was more than the fact that they used a weapon against orbiting satellites. The destruction also created a huge amount of debris that has the potential to damage other satellites in orbit.

If China puts a man into space, they will be the third country to do so behind the US and Russia that put men in orbit decades ago. The Chinese would use a future moon mission to collect samples. So far, the Chinese have put the first section of its space station into orbit and had a successful docking of an unmanned craft with that module. It still has a very long way to go to carry out its manned moon landing.

[via CNN]