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China to launch Shenzhou-9, Shenzhou-10 spacecraft next year: spokesman

(Xinhua)

17:08, December 29, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- China will launch the Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 spacecraft and achieve space rendezvous and docking missions with the orbiting Tiangong-1 vehicle in 2012, a spokesman for the China National Space Administration said Thursday.

Spokesman Zhang Wei made the announcement at a press conference held in Beijing for the release of a white paper titled "China's Space Activities in 2011."

However, the spokesman did not unveil a detailed timetable for the launches.

China on Thursday issued the white paper on the development of the space industry since 2006 and the major tasks for the next five years.

The white paper was the third white paper on the country's space activities issued by the State Council Information Office, following one in 2000 and another in 2006.

The Chinese government has made the space industry an important part of the nation's overall development strategy and adhered to the exploration and utilization of outer space for peaceful purposes, the white paper said.

Over the past few years, China has ranked among the world's leading countries in certain major areas of space technology, it said, adding that in the next five years, there will be new opportunities for the country's space industry.

At the same time, China will work together with the international community to maintain a peaceful and clean outer space environment and endeavor to promote world peace and development, the document said.

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