China is inarguably working to achieve so many things right now. Aside from racing to have cleaner and improved air quality by 2017, it only has set its sights to launch its own space station by 2023.
Earth and the Mir station
Announced at the 64th International Astronautical Congress earlier this week, officials said the country's first orbiting space station will study and develop "space medicine."
"Space medicine is not only good for the health of astronauts, but also has great potential for improving the health of people on Earth," Chen Shanguang, director of the Astronaut Center of China, said at the congress.
Solar arrays of space station modules backlit by the Sun
This particular space station project, according to Li Yinghui, director at the China Astronaut Research and Training Center, aims to look into the effects of radiation on astronauts, the long-term weight loss in space, in-orbit medical monitoring as well as the application of traditional Chinese medicine in space.
Named Nyu Wa after the Chinese goddess credited with creating humanity, authorities said the space station will consist of three modules. Two will hold the laboratories while another module will be fitted with cargo pods to bring up scientists and supplies.
The entire space station will cover a total area of 60 sq m.
The modular International Space Station
Once complete, the space station would be capable of housing astronauts on long-term missions in orbit, Wang Zhaoyao, the director of the China Manned Space Agency, told BBC News.
During the same congress, authorities likewise expressed the country's willingness to entertain and accept foreign astronauts for future missions.
"We would like to train astronauts from other countries and organizations that have such a demand, and we would be glad to provide trips to foreign astronauts," Yang Liwei, Deputy Director of the China Manned Space Agency, said.
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