Come on in, stranger: China says willing to open future space station to foreign astronauts

A Chinese astronaut says China is willing to open its future space station to foreign astronauts and even train them for such missions.

China's first man in space, Yang Liwei, was quoted by the official China Daily newspaper on Wednesday as saying China had received many such requests, but gave no details.

China launched an experimental space station, the Tiangong 1, in 2011. It's due to be replaced by a permanent station, Tiangong 2, seven years from now. It will weigh about 60 tons, about one-sixth the size of the 16-nation International Space Station.

Yang was speaking to a human space technology workshop organized jointly with the United Nations.

The five-day conference was closed to international news organizations, and workshop media officers said no copy of Yang's speech was available.