China to conduct maiden space docking in 2011: expert

10:12, March 12, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

China will launch an unmanned space module, Tiangong-1, in the first half of 2011, and the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft in the second half of the year, to carry out the nation's first-ever space docking, an expert said here Wednesday.

The Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 spaceships, which are also expected to dock with Tiangong-1, would be launched in 2012, said Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of China's manned space program.

The two spaceships would help China establish breakthroughs and further master the docking technologies tested by its predecessor Shenzhou-8, said Niu, who is also a deputy to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

Qi Faren, former chief designer of Shenzhou spaceships, told Xinhua earlier that the 8.5-tonne Tiangong-1 would be converted into a manned space lab where Chinese astronauts would live and conduct research in zero gravity, after docking with the three Shenzhou spaceships.

Niu said experts have already begun building flight models of the Tiangong-1 module, the Shenzhou-8 spaceship, and the Long March II-F carrier rocket on which the Tiangong-1 is expected to be launched.

He also said the country has already finished selection of its second batch of astronauts.

The astronauts include five men and two women, according to Zhang Jianqi, former deputy commander of the country's manned space program. This is the first time women will be part of China's space missions.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:梁军)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Visitors to the Pink Salmon Festival enjoy soap bubbles made in the shape of salmon, on Aug. 28, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. The event is organized by Robert Clark, sustainable fish advocate and chef of divine cuisine, who teamed up with Pacific Salmon Foundation to celebrate pink salmon as one of British Columbia's most sustainable seafoods. A total of 1.5 tonnes of free, barbecued-to-perfection pinks were prepared and served by chefs to hundreds of visitors. (Xinhua/Sergei Bachlakov)
  • Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney (3rd L) celebrates with team-mates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on August 28, 2011. Manchester United won the game 8-2. (Xinhua/AFP)
  • Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda gives a speech after winning Japan's ruling party presidential election in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)
  • People waves to armed vehicles driven by military fans in an activity held to simulate the liberation of Mons, Belgium, Aug. 28, 2011. About 100 heavy equipped vehicles collected by military fans from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland arrived in Mons on Sunday, to reproduce the appearance of liberation of Mons in World War II in 1944. More than 2,000 people attended the activity. (Xinhua/Wang Xiaojun)
  • Argentinean soccer legend and coach Diego Maradona speaks to players of the Dubai al-Wasl club during their friendly match against al-Sharqa's Ittihad Kalba, in Dubai, on August 28, 2011. (Xinhua/AFP)
  • Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda gives a speech after winning Japan's ruling party presidential election in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 29, 2011. Finance minister Yoshihiko Noda is almost certain to become Japan's next prime minister after beating Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda in a run-off to win the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) presidential election Monday. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)
Hot Forum Discussion