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Shenzhou 8's docking to last 10 to 15 minutes

(People's Daily Online)

16:04, November 02, 2011

Edited and translated by Li Zhenyu, People's Daily Online

Beijing, Nov.2 (People's Daily Online) -- The docking process between the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft and Tiangong 1 module is expected to take 10 minutes to 15 minutes, according to Ma Yongping, deputy director of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.

China's unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou 8 blasted off at 5:58 a.m. Beijing Time Tuesday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

The spacecraft is expected to join with the Tiangong 1 space lab module, which was sent into space on Sept. 29.

The current run will build up experience for further docking of the Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10 in 2012, eventually leading to a permanent manned space station around 2020.

Currently, the Tiangong 1 has had everything ready and is now in orbit 343 kilometers from the earth, awaiting the Shenzhou 8's arrival.

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