This year, a rocket will carry a boxcar-size module into orbit, the first building block for a Chinese space station. Around 2013, China plans to launch a lunar probe that will set a rover loose on the moon. It wants to put a man on the moon sometime after 2020.
While the United States is still working out its next move after the space shuttle program, China is forging ahead. Some analysts worry that the United States could slip behind China in human spaceflight – the realm of space science with the most prestige.