BEIJING - China plans to carry out more than 20 space missions this year, an acceleration of efforts to improve its space technologies, an expert said Tuesday.
The figure would see a big increase from the 15 space missions China conducted in 2010, Qi Faren, former chief designer for Shenzhou spaceships said.
Qi, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks before the annual session of the country's top political advisory body, which is scheduled to open Thursday.
He said China would enhance its capabilities of space exploration, land observation and information technology in the next five years. The country would also seek breakthroughs in the innovation of space technologies and applications that are not advanced enough to meet the nation's needs, he said.
China should intensify efforts to develop technologies for space exploration, he said, adding that the efforts aim for an effective and peaceful use of space resources.
China would further step up international cooperation for manned space programs and open its future space station to foreign astronauts and scientists, Qi said.