China plans a crewed mission to the moon to be completed before 2030, according to the China Manned Space Engineering Organization (CMSEO).
The comments were made at a press conference regarding the launch of the Shenzhou-16 Spacecraft, which will take place tomorrow, May 30 at 9.31am Beijing Time, reports Xinhua.
CMSEO Deputy Chairperson, Lin Xinqiang said that the project was already underway and encompassed development of a manned carrier rocket, manned spacecraft, lunar lander, lunar lander suit and other equipment, as well as relevant test and launch facilities.
The plans are part of the Middle Kingdom’s ever-expanding space program, which was first launched under Deng Xiaoping in 1992.
Since that time, key achievements have included the country’s first launch of an unmanned spacecraft in November 1999 and the first manned space mission with the launch of Shenzhou-5 in 2003.
In more recent years, China has launched the Tiangong and Tianhe space stations, the final Beidou Satellite in June 2020 and an unmanned probe to Mars in July 2020.
China's national flag was seen on the moon as part of its Chang'e 5 lunar mission in December 2020.
China's national flag was planted on the moon as part of the Chang'e 5 lunar mission in December 2020. Image via Weibo/@新华视点
So far, only 12 individuals have set foot on the moon, the first of which was American Neil Armstrong in 1969 with his famous words “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
[Cover image via Pixabay]