China's space lab to welcome international scientists
Beijing: China on Saturday said its space station, expected to be ready by 2020, would offer scientists from around the world opportunities for research.
Zhou Jianping, the lead designer of the space station being built to rival Russian Mir station, the station would engage in space exploration and research on space resources and would include three capsules.
It will be capable of docking one freight and two manned spacecrafts, and the entire system will weigh over 90 tonnes, Zhou said, adding that Beijing would offer experimentation facilities for scientists from other countries.
The space station will be capable of accommodating three Chinese astronauts who will work in half-year shifts during its operation period, but new capsules can be added as needed for scientific research, Zhou said.
"In light of the current demand and cost factors, we are not going to build an international space station, but one of moderate size that meets the demands of scientific experimentation and technological testing, and its flexibility in adding capsules will enable us to adapt to the demands of the most state-of-the-art technological research," Zhou told state-run Xinhua news agency.