China Plans to Expand its Space Program – Here’s What We Know

The US and Russia—along with a handful of other countries—have been in space for decades. China has entered the fray more recently but announced plans last week to put people on the Moon by 2036.

The plan is part of a broader effort to make up ground against the established space programs of these other nations, and it could be accelerated by China’s growing international tensions with the US.

China has announced plans for a manned Moon landing in 2036. Currently, the country is experimenting with reusable rockets as it develops a space station in Earth orbit.

Space Station
Space Station

A moon mission is part of a planned space program.

China’s space program is a long-term project. The Chinese space program has announced plans for a lunar base, which will be tasked with research that could benefit human health on Earth.

The Chinese space program is ambitious. China’s goals include establishing its own manned space station and returning to the moon by 2022, according to the state news agency Xinhua. China also plans to send astronauts to Mars by 2040, though it hasn’t said how it would do so yet.

The Chinese space program is a national priority: As part of its ambitious goals for 2030, China wants to build up its space capabilities “to ensure national security,” according to Reuters.

The Chinese Communist Party has made scientific development one of its top priorities since 1949 when Mao Zedong declared war against ignorance and poverty through education reform programs designed by Soviet advisers while they were still friendly allies during World War II (1939–1945).

Thus began an era known as “The Great Leap Forward” which lasted from 1958 until 1961 when famine killed 30 million people from starvation due largely to part due to a lack of resources needed to feed the population properly including a lack of equipment tools machines tools needed to make harvest crops efficiently enough produce enough food required to sustain growing population living conditions deteriorating rapidly without adequate supplies needed to maintain healthy lifestyle expectant mothers dying childbirth complications leading cause death globally today

China’s ambitions to go into space have been accelerated by US-China tensions and a lack of international collaboration opportunities.

In the last decade, China has become a global superpower and wants to be a leader in space. The country is also looking for ways to become a global leader.

China is an emerging power with growing economic clout and an ambitious domestic agenda that includes plans for the country’s first space station by 2024—and potentially its own manned missions to the Moon or Mars by 2030 or 2040.

But China’s ambitions have been accelerated by US-China tensions and a lack of international collaboration opportunities as Washington effectively abandoned what had been intended as joint space exploration efforts.

China hopes to repeat the success of its Tiangong 1 and 2 space stations and to eventually land astronauts on the Moon.

As part of its plan for a moon landing, China has been testing and developing technologies needed to explore space. This includes the Tiangong 1 and 2 space stations, which are both test beds for technologies needed for a moon landing.

The first Tiangong 1 was launched in September 2011 and ended operations in March 2016. The second model was launched in September 2016, though it will be abandoned after 2022 without support from another spacecraft or crew members on board.

China Space Programs
China Space Programs

China will be going to the Moon in another 15 years or so and has ambitious plans for Mars as well.

China’s space program has been growing rapidly in recent years, with the country having launched more rockets than any other nation in 2018. The main focus of China’s space program has been Earth orbit and lunar exploration, but it also has ambitions to travel further afield: missions to Mars are on the horizon.

China’s space agency successfully completed what many see as its most ambitious mission yet: sending two astronauts into space for 30 days on board the Tiangong 2 lab module.

The first Chinese female astronaut spent time outside of Tiangong 2 during this mission and even conducted tests in which she floated around weightless before returning inside.

The Tiangong 1 was China’s first orbiting space station and was visited by three crews over its six years of operation (two short-term visits). It returned to Earth safely in 2017 when it burned up upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere after completing its original mission lifetime of two years in orbit.


China’s ambitions in space go beyond the Moon, and the country is planning a manned mission to Mars in the 2040s. Progress on that front has been slower than expected, but it’s likely just a matter of time. China continues to push forward with its plans for human spaceflight and exploration—and it won’t stop anytime soon.


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