BEIJING: China has invited all the member states of the United Nations to jointly utilise its future space station expected to be ready by 2022, a move that will allow the entire world to use the orbital station for scientific purposes.
The China Space Station (CSS), which is expected to be launched by 2019 and become operational by 2022, will be the world’s first space station open for cooperation with all UN member states, official media reported today.
China is currently in the process of building it.
It is regarded as a rival to the Russia’s international space station Mir, currently in orbit.
According to Chinese analysts, by 2024, Chinese space station will be the only one in operation as Mir is set to complete its life span by that time. The invitation for all the countries to jointly use the space station further shows China’s unwavering belief that outer space is a common home for all humanity rather than a new battlefield, state-run Global Times reported.
All countries, regardless of their size and level of development, were invited to explore cooperation with China aboard the CSS, ranging from growing a plant in space to accommodating an astronaut, Shi Zhongjun, China’s ambassador to the UN and other international organisations in Vienna told state-run Xinhua news agency. The CSS will be the world’s first space station open for cooperation with all UN member states, the report said.
The announcement was more than a friendly gesture. It is the strongest message so far against the worrying rhetoric that the outer space is a new front line for competition and confrontation, it said.
Opening up China’s future space station to the world will reinforce international cooperation for the peaceful use of outer space, said United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) director Simonetta Di Pippo.
In cooperation with the UNOOSA, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) will utilise the CSS to promote international cooperation in manned space flight and exploration, providing flight experiments and space application opportunities on board the space station for the UN member states.
This is an agreement which will allow the entire world to use, for scientific purposes, the China Space Station when it will be ready,” Pippo said.
“It’s the first time it is open to all member states,” she said.