A senior Chinese scientist involved with China's Manned Space Flight Program says the country will set up a space station within 15 years.
Speaking to a group of middle school students at Beijing Sci-tech Week, Wang Yongzhi, chief designer of the Program said China has spent 18 billion yuan (US$2.17 billion) on this program over the past 11 years, which is much lower than expected.
China's Manned Space Flight Program is divided into three stages and should be completely finished in about 15 years time.
He said that China aims to explore the moon not by landing men on it, but by sending satellites to orbit the moon.
(CRI May 17, 2004)