China to achieve 'major breakthrough' in nuclear-powered space shuttle around 2040: report

Updated 2017-11-16 23:02:10 Xinhua

China is expected to achieve a "major breakthrough" in nuclear-powered space shuttles around 2040, according to a report issued by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation on Thursday.

The achievement will be able to support large-scale exploration and development of space resources, and make mining on asteroids and space solar power plants possible, said the report, which outlines the development road map for China's space transportation system to 2045.

A future generation of carrier rockets will be put into use around 2040 and hybrid power reusable carriers will be developed, the report said.

By 2045, the means of getting into and out of space as well as space transportation will see subversive transformations, making it possible to build a space ladder, earth station and space post, as well as regularly explore the solar system on a large scale with coordination between humans and machines, said the report.

The report also said that the Long March-8 carrier rocket is expected to be launched in 2020 and the Long March series of rockets will provide commercial launch services for other countries.

Around 2025, reusable suborbital carriers will be successfully developed and suborbital space travel will come true, it said.

Around 2030, heavy carrier rockets will be launched to provide powerful support to manned lunar landing missions and sufficient transportation power for samples from Mars to return to Earth.

Around 2035, carrier rockets will be completely reusable and the future generation intelligent carrier rockets with advanced power will be launched, the report said.

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