European astronauts are working hard to learn Chinese as they prepare to work with Chinese astronauts in the future.
The annual International Astronautical Congress, the world's largest space industry event, has just closed in the German city of Bremen. During the meeting, European Space Agency Director Wiener said that ESA is very keen to promote international cooperation in the field of space, and China is an active participant in international cooperation in the field of space.
In May 2015, China and the European Union signed an agreement on the long-term objectives and implementation steps for cooperation in the field of manned space flight. The agreement defines the period from 2015 to 2017 as the stage of technical exchanges, with China and the EU participating in each other's personnel training activities. Since the signing of the cooperation agreement in 2015, the European Space Agency has sent a group of European astronauts to China for training with their Chinese counterparts. Many European astronauts are working hard to learn Chinese, hoping to participate in China's space missions in the future. German astronaut Matthias Maurer has been learning Chinese for the past six years and hopes to be one of the first foreign astronauts to enter China's planned 2022 space station. "Three of my colleagues, a German, an Italian and a French, have begun to learn Chinese, and we hope that the first foreign astronaut to fly on the Chinese space station will be a European." The European Space Agency, French astronaut Jean Francois Clefrive said.
In recent years, China has opened its once mysterious space program to international partners. In May this year, China's National Space Agency invited other countries to conduct experiments on its planned space station. "China's spaceflight not only belongs to China, but also to the world." The Chinese representative at the meeting said. China has invested tremendous resources in developing its space program, an important symbol of its prestige and technological progress in this field.
China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe is expected to be launched later this year, making it the first human lunar back probe. However, China's budget for aerospace this year is about $3 billion, while the US government's allocation to NASA this year is $20.7 billion.
Werner also said he hoped that European astronauts could participate in China's manned space program in the future. Under the program, China successfully launched astronaut Yang Liwei into space in 2003, becoming the only third world country to accomplish the feat. Since then, China has completed another six manned missions. (author Laurija Chen, Hu Qingsong Translated)
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