In his opening remarks to the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC)’s National Congress, Chinese President Xi Jinping specified that China aims to become a powerful country by 2050 based on modernizing socialism. Built in as a major component of Xi’s China Dream is China’s Space Dream aimed at turning the country into the most advanced country with space technology by 2045.
The road map published by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASTC) indicates that between 2020 and 2045, China aims to achieve several significant milestones with regard to space technology to include a reusable carrier rocket by 2035, and a nuclear powered space shuttle by 2040, which would augment larger payloads to include human presence in space.
These plans for a nuclear powered space fleet are supported by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), which in a report published in the People’s Daily front page stated that this development would enable China to commercially explore and exploit the natural resources available in space by 2040. Wang Chunghui, associate professor of aerospace propulsion at the School of Astronautics at Beihang University, stated, “The nuclear vessels are built to colonise the solar system and beyond.”