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Overseas media focus on China's first manual space docking

By Ye Xin (People's Daily Online)

14:59, June 24, 2012

The successful manual docking betweeen Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft and Tiangong-1 lab module at noon on Sunday has aroused attention from a number of foreign media organizations.

"Chinese astronauts are due to carry out the nation's first manual space docking, a highly complex manoeuvre that will bring the Asian powerhouse a step closer to building a space station," AFP reported.

It is regarded as a difficult manoeuvre, bringing gently together two orbiting vessels travelling at thousands of miles an hour, BBC said.

The VOA said, "officials say the attempt at the more challenging manual docking will serve in the construction of a larger space station, which China aims to complete by 2020. "

"The manual docking maneuver is crucial for China's future space aspirations, which include the launch of a larger man-tended Tiangong space lab in a few years. But first, China plans another crewed flight to Tiangong 1 within a year," said the Spaceflight Now.

The success in manual space docking means China has become the third country that has mastered the technology after the United States and Russia, the ITAR-TASS quoted Chinese media as saying.

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Fred Jansohn at 2012-06-25202.129.80.*
What an almighty achievement, especially so for a nation still officially, and paradoxically, described as "developing". China is slowly conquering space as well as the deep blue sea with its submersible. The contradictions abound: With the second largest economy, its per capita income is still one of the world"s lowest. But let"s hope that given time and opportunity China will again rise to the challenge of providing its people with a lifestyle at least equal to any developed nation.
  

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