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China eyes manned space station in 10 years
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Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and the former chief designer of China's manned space program Wang Yongzhi has said China will soon be taking steps in developing its manned space station, Chinanews.com reported.

Wang said during a meeting held in Beijing on Monday that the focus is currently on the second phase of the three-step program after successfully launching Shenzhou VI and Shenzhou VII, as well as the spacewalk.

He says the next step will be the space rendezvous and docking experiments.

He explained that implementation plans for the next series of projects for building the manned station are pending approval. Once they are settled, China will begin developing its manned station. He says within 10 years, the Chinese will not only be able to voyage into outer space, but work beyond the planet's atmosphere.

China began its manned space program in 1992 and has successfully launched its manned space crafts and rockets. A lot of space experiments have been successfully conducted and the first batch of Chinese astronauts have been selected and trained.

China is the third country to independently conduct manned space craft activities after the United States and Russia.

(China Daily September 22, 2009)

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