The Chinese space program has been going from strength to strength lately with no signs of stopping.
The three astronauts who were aboard China's recent Shenzhou X mission have been in quarantine since returning on June 26th, giving medical experts the opportunity to analyze their health after spending time in a weightless environment. Thanks to data obtained from the mission the space agency believes it is now ready to send astronauts in to space for much longer periods of time.
"Medium and long-term space missions pose harsher challenges in physical, psychological and engineering knowledge," said Nie Haisheng, one of the three astronauts. China's next major step in manned space exploration will be to put a space station in orbit by 2020, facilitating missions that could last anything up to a year at a time.
"Chinese astronauts are capable of conducting medium and long-term space missions and enduring the harsh physical conditions involved, a senior astronaut said on Thursday."
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