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DM spokesman: China advocates exploring outer space for peaceful purposes

(Xinhua)

08:29, September 29, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- A Defense Ministry spokesman on Wednesday reiterated China's stance regarding the exploration of outer space, stating that the country wishes to explore space for peaceful purposes and is firmly opposed to the weaponization of space exploration programs.

Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng made the remark in response to a question about the upcoming launch of the Tiangong-1, China's first space lab module. International media reports have implied that the module may be used for military purposes.

Geng replied to the question by reminding reporters of the vast scale and sophistication required in undertaking space exploration.

"The military enjoys unique advantages in organizing and coordinating such large-scale activities, and its involvement in aerospace missions is an international practice," he said.

Previous media reports have stated that the Tiangong-1 is scheduled to be launched between 9:16 p.m. and 9:31 p.m. Thursday. The unmanned module will dock with China's unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft after entering low-Earth orbit.

The Tiangong-1 was originally scheduled to be launched between Sept. 27 and 30. The launch was then rescheduled for Sept. 29 or 30 due to weather conditions.

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