by Staff Writers
Beijing (UPI) Feb 28, 2013
China has announced a tentative time period for its next manned space craft launch that will dock with the country's orbiting space laboratory.
Three Chinese astronauts will man the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft when it launched sometime between June and August, the office of the country's space manned program said in a statement Thursday.
It is intended to dock with the orbiting lab module Tiangong-1, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
The Tiangong-1 was launched into orbit in September 2011. It docked with the Shenzhou-8 unmanned spacecraft in November 2011 and with the Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft in June 2012.
The mission will further assess the performance of the docking system, the combination's capabilities in supporting life and work, and the performance of astronauts in the lab, officials said.
Building on its experience with the Tiangong module, China says it plans to build its own full space station around 2020.
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com
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