The ambitious plans
include international cooperation, commercialization and perhaps even expansion.
China will launch six major missions
to complete its Tiangong space station, which space officials say could soon link up with a powerful telescope and host commercial activities and international astronauts.
The details were revealed during
press conference, which was held a day after the return of the Shenzhou 13 astronauts after their national record-setting 182-day mission aboard Tiangong's core module Tianhe.
The six crucial missions will start
in May with a resupply mission followed by the six-month-long Shenzhou 14 crewed flight in June, according to Hao Chun, director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO).
A second module, Wentian will
join Tianhe in orbit in July, followed by the third and final module, Mengtian ("Dreaming of the Heavens"), scheduled to launch in October.
Once fully assembled,
Tiangong will host six-month-long crewed missions during which astronauts will conduct an array of experiments and outreach activities