Res Communis has reported on a presentation on prospects for space tourism in China by a Ms. Xu Si from the Beijing Institute of Technology – very probably an institution heavily involved in the space programme
I wrote for Flightglobal back in 2007 that China’s government was looking at more commercial aspects for its space programme. One change that was seen was the selling of tickets to allow people to watch launches at the launch site
In April 2009 I interviewed China’s manned space programme head Zhou Jianping and he said that Tiangong-1 would be launched at the end of 2010. That should have rung bells that 2011 was a more likely date. Whenever aerospace organisations say the end of anything it always means the following month or year. Now we have Chinese state media reports that its docking target cum autonomous space laboratory called Tiangong will launch in 2011
The China manned space engineering programme deputy general designer Wang Zhonggui told this blogger in Korea last October that there would be up to three Tiangong modules launched. The Tiangong missions are a stepping stone to the autonomous docking of space station modules for the outpost the country expects to have operating in 2020
China is not in any hurry with its space programme and no doubt there will be more delays but eventually it will have its own space station and more. The interesting question for the near term is will China join the International Space Station programme?