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China to launch unmanned space module by Sept 30
by Staff Writers
Jiuquan, China (XNA) Sep 21, 2011

File image.

China will launch its unmanned space module, Tiangong-1, sometime from Sept. 27 to 30, a spokesperson said here Tuesday.

The space module and its carrier rocket, Long-March II-F, have been moved to the launch platform at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, said the project's spokesperson.

In the next few days, scientists will conduct the final tests on all devices, the spokesperson said.

Every main system is standing by and the final preparations are running smoothly, he said.

The 8.5-metric ton Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace 1," will be sent into space to perform the nation's first space-docking procedure.

The Tiangong-1 will dock with the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, which will be sent into space after the Tiangong-1's launch.

Besides the space-docking procedure experiment, scientists also plan to test the long-term unmanned operation and the temporarily-manned operation of a space station as well as carry out medical and technical experiments aboard the Tiangong-1.

The launch was rescheduled early this month due to the failed launch of an experimental orbiter.

The Long-March II-F belongs to the same series as the malfunctioning rocket that played a role in experimental orbiter SJ-11-04's failure to enter Earth's orbit in August.

Source: Xinhua News Agency


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