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China completes testing of a prototype for a new generation of spacecraft

China completes testing of a prototype for a new generation of spacecraft
The prototype of China’s new generation of manned spacecraft completed testing on March 25 at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan. (Picture: CCTV)

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, China seems undeterred in its preparation for upcoming space missions. On Wednesday, China successfully completed a trial of a new generation of manned spacecraft.

The new spacecraft is designed for both near-Earth missions and traveling to deep space. It can also carry up to six astronauts, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The prototype will be launched without a crew in April and be carried by the Long March-5B heavy-lift rocket, according to state-run news outlet Xinhua.

China’s space missions expected in 2020 include the launch of the core module for its space station, retrieving lunar samples, and a Mars probe, which state media say remains unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak. European and Russian space agencies, on the other hand, are delaying their Mars probe launches by two years.

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