China has just announced finalized plans to launch its own space station by 2022, according to Xinhua.
The announcement was delivered in a press conference on Wednesday by Yang Liwei, China’s first astronaut and deputy chief of its space agency.
Characteristic of China’s fast-paced construction, the 60-ton space station is expected to be completed in less than ten years, following the launch of the Tiangong-2 space lab in 2016.
The country’s expansion into the final frontier follows earlier calls by President Xi Jinping to establish China as a space superpower. Despite technological advances, the country’s space program has yet to catch up to those in Russia and the United States.
While China says its space program will be established for peaceful purposes, the U.S. Defense Department has expressed skepticism of China’s intentions.
By Lucy Wang