China's space station to start full operation this year

China's newly built space station is expected to start full operation this year.

The head of a Chinese state-owned company involved in the country's space development told a meeting on Tuesday that the station was completed last year.

Also revealed at the meeting was a goal of having China's manned space station project enter the application and development stages and to have the station start normal operations in 2023.

The station is a T-shaped structure about 30 meters long with a core module named Tianhe and two lab modules.

China plans to keep the station operating for over 10 years, and says various experiments will be conducted there involving researchers from 17 countries.

China is also sending probes to the moon and Mars in a bid to become a leading country in space development.

Meanwhile, the United States is heading the Artemis program, aimed at sending humans back to the moon.

The intensifying US-China rivalry is likely to extend into outer space.