Photo taken on Nov. 5, 2018 shows a full-size model of the core module of China's space station Tianhe exhibited at the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province. A full-size model of the core module of China's space station Tianhe made its debut at Airshow China, which opened Tuesday in Zhuhai. (Photo: Xinhua)
A deputy to the 13th National People's Congress and chief designer of the space program of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said that China will realize frequent launch of manned spacecraft like flights after the country establishes its space station around 2022.
The country will realize bulk production of manned spacecraft in the future instead of today's customization, Zhang Bonan was quoted as saying by the Science and Technology Daily report on Saturday.
China's space station will be completed around 2022. The number of personnel and the volume of goods that transport between the ground and the space station will increase dramatically, Zhang noted.
He said that to meet the space station's demands at that time, the country has to prepare enough spacecraft in advance.
They will be launched based on the needs of the replacement of astronauts and the freight, "just like air flights," Zhang said.
"Today's China aerospace manufacturing industry has gained the ability to do small volume production through improved digitization and automation technology," Zhang said.
China mastered mature manned spacecraft manufacturing technology after the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft. The country now has the ability to produce manned spacecraft in quantity, according to Zhang.
In 1992, China launched its manned space flight program. The success of Shenzhou-5 in 2003 made China the third country to acquire manned space travel technology on its own. From Shenzhou-5 to Shenzhou-11, China has sent 11 astronauts into space, the Xinhua News Agency reported in July 2018.