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China plans to realize spacecraft rendezvous and docking by 2010
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China plans to realize space-walking, spacecraft rendezvous and docking and set up a space laboratory, according to a blueprint approved by the State Council.


Meanwhile, the government would also give priority to developing a satellite, aircraft and stratosphere airship-based high definition earth observation system, said a senior official with the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.


The blueprint, framed by the commission, is the 11th five-year (2006-2010) plan for space development.


The blueprint said China would improve its Compass navigation system, according to the official.


The system, based on plans to launch five geostationary earth orbit satellites and 30 medium earth orbit satellites, is aimed at providing navigation and positioning services in transportation, meteorology, petroleum prospecting, forest fire monitoring, disaster forecasting, telecommunications and public security.


Apart from launching the country's first moon orbiter, China would also study the second and third stages of its lunar exploration projects, the official said.


China was making final preparations for the launch of its first moon orbiter at the end of October, Zhang Qingwei, minister in charge of the commission, said on Tuesday.


Advanced cameras and X-ray spectrometers have been installed in the orbiter for mapping three-dimensional images of the lunar surface, analyzing dust, and studying the space environment between the Earth and the moon.


The next step in the ambitious mission is to launch a recoverable moon vehicle, he said.


(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2007)

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