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China's space docking technology granted 15 patent certificates

(Xinhua)

08:15, November 23, 2011

SHANGHAI, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) on Tuesday conferred 15 patent certificates to the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST), developer of the docking mechanism for China's first space docking mission.

Unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou-8's docking with space lad module Tiangong-1 on November 3 was considered a great leap forward for China's space program.

Led by the SAST, Chinese scientists developed the docking mechanism and ground-experiment systems for the successful mission. Forty five patent applications regarding the docking technology have been submitted to the SIPO.

China has been researching docking technology since 1994. The country plans to conduct two more space docking missions next year, one of them manned, and plans to complete a manned space station around 2020.

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