Win tickets to Evergreen State Fair concert
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Chinese craft to test docking in space

They expect to launch their own space station between 2020 and 2022.

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Associated Press
BEIJING -- China will launch an unmanned spacecraft early next month that will attempt to dock with an experimental module, the latest step in what will be a decade-long effort to place a manned permanent space station in orbit.
In space, the Shenzhou 8 will carry out maneuvers to couple with the Tiangong 1 module now in orbit.
The ship and the modified Long March-2F rocket that will sling it into space were transferred early Wednesday to the launch pad at the Jiuquan space base on the edge of the Gobi desert in northern China, Xinhua News Agency said.
Its exclusive report did not specify a date for the launch. Chinese space officials rarely speak to foreign media.
The 8.5-ton, box car-sized Tiangong 1 launched last month has moved into orbit 217 miles above the Earth and is surveying Chinese farmland using special cameras, Xinhua said.
It is also conducting experiments involving growing crystals in zero gravity, the report said, citing the launch center's chief engineer, Lu Jinrong.
Following Shenzhou 8, two more missions, at least one of them manned, are to meet up with the module next year for further practice, with astronauts staying for up to one month.
Plans call for launching two other experimental modules for more tests before the actual station is launched in three sections between 2020 and 2022.
At about 60 tons when completed, the Chinese station will be considerably smaller than the International Space Station, which is expected to continue operating through 2028.
China launched its own space station program after being rebuffed in its attempts to join the 16-nation ISS, largely on objections from the U.S. It is wary of the Chinese program's military links and the sharing of technology with its chief economic and political competitor.
Story tags » Space programsAsia

More Nation & World Headlines


HeraldNet Headlines

Top stories and breaking news updates


Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus