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China's 1st attempt to build own space station successful

(Xinhua)

08:11, September 30, 2011


China's first space lab module Tiangong-1 blasts off at 9:16pm yesterday from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province. A Long March-2FT1 rocket carried the unmanned module as part of a mission to test space docking with another spacecraft later this year, paving the way for China to become the third country in the world to operate a permanent space station around 2020.(Xinhua Photo)

China successfully launched an experimental craft yesterday, paving the way for its first space station.

The Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace," blasted off from the Jiuquan satellite Launch Center in the northwestern Gansu Province at 9:16pm.

The module was shot into space aboard a Long March-2FT1 rocket.

It is to move into an orbit 350 kilometers above the Earth and conduct surveys of Chinese farmland using special cameras, along with experiments involving growing crystals in zero gravity.

The unmanned module will test space docking with a spacecraft later this year, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020 and making it the world's third country to do so.

Unlike previous Chinese space vehicles, Tiangong-1 has a docking facility which allows it to be connected to multiple modules in order to assemble an experimental station in low orbit.

Tiangong-1 will orbit the Earth for about a month awaiting the arrival of the Shenzhou-8 unmanned spacecraft. Once the two vehicles successfully rendezvous, they will conduct the first space docking at a height of 340 kilometers above Earth's surface.

After two docking tests with the Shenzhou-8, Tiangong-1 will await the Shenzhou-9, followed by the Shenzhou-10, which may carry a female astronaut, in the next two years.

If the astronaut in the Shenzhou-10 mission succeeds with the manual space docking, China will have become the third nation after the United States and Russia to master the technology.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:梁军)

Leave your comment4 comments

  1. Name

ood at 2011-09-30120.166.46.*
The success of China in its space program, will bring great benefit to the entire civilization of the human race on this planet earth.
elee at 2011-09-30183.39.45.*
Congratulations, heavenly blessful, China!
Canada at 2011-09-3070.36.49.*
Congratulations China!!!
Tan Yew Guan(Singapore) at 2011-09-30220.255.2.*
China is great!
  

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