China's chief designer of spacecraft said Sunday China is taking every possible measure to ensure the safety of Taikongren, or astronauts, in the coming space flight mission.
Qi Fa'ren, chief designer of the four unmanned spaceships since 1999 and the vessel to be launched later this year on a manned mission, said "we will not launch the craft if it is not up to the safety and reliability criteria".
"It is the designing requirement that malfunction of a system of the spacecraft will not affect the way it operates, and the craft will return to the earth safe and sound if the problem crops up for the second time," said the engineer.
Qi, who founded China's research and development team in 1992, told Xinhua on the sideline of an ongoing NPC session in Beijing, that the recent tragedy of the American space shuttle reminded him and his colleagues of the need for additional efforts to make sure everything is perfect for the country's first manned space flight.
China is reportedly scheduled to send its astronauts in the last quarter of this year.
The Soviet Union conducted unmanned space flights seven times before it launched manned flight while the Untied States did 21 tests of the reliability of their spacecraft, said the expert.
"We have conducted only four unmanned tests, one in 1999, one in 2001 and twice in 2002," said the expert.