China Space Tourism: Tiangong Space Station Could Soon Host Tourists!

By Giuliano De Leon

Apr 24, 2024 01:20 PM EDT

China could soon start its space tourism. The Chinese government is now considering allowing its Tiangong space station to host tourists. 

China Space Tourism: Tiangong Space Station Could Soon Host Tourists!
China's Long March 2F rocket carrying the Tiangong-1 module, or "Heavenly Palace", blasts off from the Jiuquan launch centre in Gansu province on September 29, 2011.
(Photo : STR/AFP via Getty Images)

This effort is also expected to demonstrate China's transparency in a space program with strong ties with the PLA (People's Liberation Army).

China's Tiangong Space Station Could Soon Host Tourists!

According to Nikkei Asia's latest report, China Manned Space Agency Deputy Director Lin Xiqiang confirmed the Chinese government's plan to start its space tourism.

"We are planning to quickly examine promoting stays on our space station by foreign astronauts and space tourists," he said during a press conference on Wednesday, Apr. 24.

On Apr. 25, Thursday, the Shenzhou-18 mission will send new crew members to replace the three astronauts on board. As of writing, the Chinese space station only accommodates three astronauts on board.

Usually, the astronauts on board have been former Air Force pilots. If Tiangong starts accepting tourists, it will host other people, even those without flying experience.

Read Also: NASA Aims to Put Humanoid Robots in Space to Do Dangerous Jobs

China Encourages Space Tourism

Space.Com reported that China had been encouraging space tourism even before the construction of the Tiangong space station was completed. In 2022, Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut to visit space, said that tourists without formal astronaut training could soon fly aboard Tiangong.

"It is not a matter of technology but of demand. And it can be realized within a decade as long as there is such demand," he said.

His statements were significant because he was speaking as a member of the CPPCC (Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference) at the time. 

Related Article: Virgin Galactic to Pause Space Flights to Focus on Developing Its Next-Generation Delta-Class Spacecraft

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