China's first space docking to go on as planned

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 28, 2011
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China's first space docking will go on as planned despite the rescheduled launch of the unmanned space module Tiangong-1 following a satellite launching failure last month, according to a space program commander.

The experimental space station will conduct the country's first-ever space docking with the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, which is scheduled to be launched in November, said Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of the country's manned space program.

A Long March 2C rocket malfunctioned and failed to send the Shijian XI-04 satellite into orbit in August, forcing authorities to reschedule the launch of China's first experimental space station based on safety considerations, according to Niu, also a deputy head of the General Armament Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The rescheduling of the Tiangong-1 mission is aimed at allowing engineers to sort out any problems that might occur during the launch, said Niu.

Tiangong-1 is expected to dock with the Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 spacecraft in forthcoming launches, paving the way for the country to achieve its goal of establishing a manned space station by 2020.

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