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Shenzhou-8 to land early this evening

By Wang Fei (Global Times)

08:41, November 17, 2011

China's unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou-8 successfully disengaged from the Tiangong-1 space lab module at 6:30 pm Wednesday after orbiting with the lab as a single unit for 14 days, CCTV reported.

After the successful separation, Shenzhou-8 will continue to orbit solo before landing back on Earth tonight, aerospace expert Pang Zhihao told the Global Times Wednesday.

The Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC), which is in command of the mission, will signal Shenzhou-8 back to earth today, a spokesperson for China's manned space program said, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Meanwhile, Tiangong-1 will remain in space at a higher elevation, gradually descending as it slows down in preparation to receive Shenzhou-9, to be launched next year, said Pang.

Shenzhou-8 is scheduled to return to Earth around 7:00 tonight, touching-down at Amugulang ranch in central Inner Mongolia Plateau, a main landing ground for China's space program.

A malfunctioning navigation system could affect the spacecraft's landing, as could the weather. But, China has not had any problems landing seven other units after their missions, Pang said.

According to the Inner Mongolia Weather Bureau, conditions at the landing site are good.

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Tan Yew Guan at 2011-11-17220.255.1.*
As I"ve said earlier, if others can make it, China can!Space exploration has no boundary, all nations on earth should co-operate and have a slice of it - unlike some western hypocrites, want it all for themselves!

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