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Trends That Impact Perceptions of the Chinese Space Program

  • Published
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute

The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) intention to allow civilian astronauts and non-state-owned enterprise (SOE) companies to participate in the Chinese Space Station (CSS) are two trends that will probably change the global image of the Chinese space program, but which risk being overlooked with hyped attention on the still distant crewed lunar program.  While the CSS is not the linchpin for the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) recently confirmed timeline to land two PRC astronauts on the Moon by 2030 for a short period of tests and experiments; the CSS is however necessary for the PRC to achieve its goal for a sustainable crewed lunar program.   Importantly, watching the development of the CSS will reveal clues about possible international and commercial participation.  Support and buy-in from such groups are key to a sustainable space program and demonstrating the PRC’s leadership in space.  

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