China developing new seven-seat crewed spaceship: chief designer
Taikonaut Fei Junlong is seen coming out of the return capsule of the Shenzhou-15 manned spaceship at the Dongfeng landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 4, 2023. (Xinhua/He Shuchen)
BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) -- China is developing a next-generation spaceship that features seating for up to seven people, the country's manned space agency revealed Thursday.
Roomier than the current three-seater spaceship, the new one will be able to carry more cargo supplies and more crew members, which will contribute to expanding the scale of manned spaceflights and opening up new areas, such as space tourism, said Zhou Jianping, the chief designer of China's manned space program, in an interview.
A new launch vehicle is also under development. According to Zhou, the new manned rocket is designed to have greater liftoff thrusts, reusable components and a larger area for payloads, becoming more cost-efficient than the previous generations.