China is in talks with the European Space Agency regarding the construction of a moon village, Tian Yulong, chief engineer at the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense and secretary general of China National Space Administration (CNSA), disclosed in Xi’an on April 24.
Deep space exploration is key to China’s space development, Tian stated on China Space Day 2017. Tian added that the Chang’E-5 mission, to be carried out by the end of 2017, will achieve the major task of collecting samples from the moon and then returning to Earth. The Chang’e-4 mission in 2018 will land on the far side of the moon and explore the physical environment and mineral resources in that area – an unprecedented accomplishment for humankind.
In addition, Tian said that the next step for China’s space development is to create a safer, more reliable and economical aircraft, making it more convenient to send people into space. Already, China has started developing a heavy-lift launch vehicle and establishing a transportation system to achieve this goal.
“The cost of flying into and out of space must be reduced if we want to achieve this goal. If the price were around 50,000 RMB ($7,261) for one trip, it would be within reach for ordinary people, and we are now trying to make that a reality,” said Bao Weimin, director of the science and technology committee under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.