China to launch Tiangong-1 docking module in 2011

17:35, August 17, 2010      

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The Tiangong-1, the first docking module in China's permanent space station and also an orbiting laboratory, has been fully assembled and will be launched in 2011, according to information published on, China's official manned space engineering Web site, on Aug. 17.

The module is now undergoing comprehensive electrical performance tests. After passing a series of electrical, mechanical and thermal performance tests, it will be sent into the pre-set orbit in 2011, and afterwards it will dock with the unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft.

Preparations for the docking mission are well under way. The Shenzhou 8 spacecraft is being assembled, and the improved version of the Long March 2-F rocket has been completed, with its subsystems still under separate comprehensive tests. In addition, astronauts are being trained for the mission, and China's second batch of astronauts including two female astronauts are also receiving the training.

According to the plan, China will launch the Tiangong-1 and the Shenzhou 8 in 2011, and then carry out the docking mission. This will be the first time for China to have a module dock with an unmanned spacecraft.

By People's Daily Online


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