Interview: China's speed of space exploration amazing, says French researcher

2021-06-18 05:35:23 GMT2021-06-18 13:35:23(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

PARIS, June 17 (Xinhua) -- China's speed of space exploration is amazing and there is a real dynamic in China's space activities, said French researcher Philippe Coue when commenting on the launch of China's Shenzhou-12 spaceship.

The spaceship, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gobi Desert on Thursday.

"I think this is a great moment and I am extremely amazed at the speed of development," said Coue, author of several books on China and space exploration.

Three Chinese astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-12 spaceship have entered the country's space station core module Tianhe, undertaking four major tasks in the in-orbit construction of the station in the following three months.

The time the astronauts will spend in space "is already much longer and the program will be more dense," said Coue.

"Shenzhou-12 is a module with a lot of things on board. Cosmonauts will very quickly be able to carry out a larger number of experiments, with more complex and much more varied experiments," he said.

For his eyes, extravehicular activities are one of the very big novelties of this flight, as extravehicular activities will be necessary to assemble the station and perform maintenance.

"It will be an important program for cosmonauts and it is really the start of the operation of a real station," he said.

"We also see a robot arm outside the station. It's the first time that a Chinese station has had this kind of thing, so it's a step forward," he added.

The researcher, who is also deeply impressed by the country's first Mars rover Zhurong, said the Chinese missions provide an opportunity for international cooperation.

Noting manned space flight remains a risky activity but meaningful to the future of humanity in space, Coue said he wishes the Chinese astronauts "all the best." Enditem

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