A senior Chinese official said on Saturday that China is going ahead with its manned space mission and another project to explore the moon is under serious consideration.
The Lunar Exploration Program is in the study phase and is awaiting government approval, Guo Baozhu, vice administrator of the Chinese National Space Academy, told the Space Summit, which opened Saturday at the Indian Science Congress in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.
He said China has 12 different launch vehicles, the heaviest of which can put 5.1 tons of payloads into geostationary transfer orbit.
The future program will include an eight-satellite constellation for disaster monitoring, data relay satellites and a new satellite to broadcast directly to homes, he added.
Guo said China is willing to cooperate with other nations in space science and applications.
(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2003)