China to attempt first space rendezvous

Apr 29, 2011
China will attempt its first space docking between two unmanned vehicles this year, the first step in efforts to build a Chinese space station, a senior official said Friday. Yang Liwei, pictured here in 2003, detailed the next stages of China's human spaceflight programme during a press visit to Space City in Beijing, a research and training centre normally closed to the public.

China will attempt its first space docking between two unmanned vehicles this year, the first step in efforts to build a Chinese space station, a senior official said Friday.

Yang Liwei detailed the next stages of China's human spaceflight programme during a press visit to Space City in Beijing, a research and training centre normally closed to the public.

"Our next goal is to realise a of two vehicles during the second half of 2011," said Yang, whose journey into space in 2003 made him the first Chinese astronaut.

The will involve the Tiangong 1 module and the Shenzhou 8 rocket, said Yang, confirming an announcement made last October.

Tiangong means "Celestial Palace" and the eight-tonne orbiter is on a two-year mission that will see it rendezvous in 2012 with the Shenzhou 9 and 10 rockets, both of which will have astronauts on board.

Before 2016, China will launch a space laboratory and, Yang said, "around 2020, we plan to realise the construction of a space station in for long-term stays in space".

China's space station will be made up of a core module, two laboratories, a and a manned rocket, with a total weight of 60 tonnes, compared with 137 tonnes for the Russian station Mir and 419 tonnes for the (ISS), the China Daily reported this week.

"China would like to cooperate with other countries" on the peaceful use of space, said Yang, who holds the rank of major general in the Chinese army, which runs the country's manned space flight programme.

Asked about Chinese plans to send men to the moon, he said: "The Chinese have no specific now," but added that such a project was under consideration.

"I really experienced the prestige that space can bring to a country," he said.

Explore further: Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China setting up new rocket production base

Mar 04, 2011

China is setting up a new high-tech manufacturing base that will build the rockets for its ambitious space programme to put a man on the moon, state press has said.

Recommended for you

Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

15 hours ago

(Phys.org) —As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

Is space tourism safe or do civilians risk health effects?

18 hours ago

Several companies are developing spacecraft designed to take ordinary citizens, not astronauts, on short trips into space. "Space tourism" and short periods of weightlessness appear to be safe for most individuals ...

An unmanned rocket exploded. So what?

21 hours ago

Sputnik was launched more than 50 years ago. Since then we have seen missions launched to Mercury, Mars and to all the planets within the solar system. We have sent a dozen men to the moon and many more to ...

NASA image: Sunrise from the International Space Station

22 hours ago

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman posted this image of a sunrise, captured from the International Space Station, to social media on Oct. 29, 2014. Wiseman wrote, "Not every day is easy. Yesterday was a tough one. ...

Copernicus operations secured until 2021

22 hours ago

In a landmark agreement for Europe's Copernicus programme, the European Commission and ESA have signed an Agreement of over €3 billion to manage and implement the Copernicus 'space component' between 2014 ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Rohitasch
1 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2011
And then the station will fire its engines and head to Europa.
Go China go!
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2011
Yeah, and FBM thinks the chinese only make low tech stuff.

In reality, China makes most of our computer components, own our government's debts, and will probably shortly over-take our space program.

Just wait till they get Tomahawks and High Energy Lasers like us...
d_robison
not rated yet Apr 29, 2011
Yeah, and FBM thinks the chinese only make low tech stuff.

In reality, China makes most of our computer components, own our government's debts, and will probably shortly over-take our space program.

Just wait till they get Tomahawks and High Energy Lasers like us...


You are correct about manufacturing, but that is where most of the jobs are in China right now. I'm not too worried about them technologically, as a lot of the things they are pushing to do, have been done by several nations in the past several decades. Though they will probably own most the world soon enough since they are buying up debt all over the place.
frajo
not rated yet Apr 30, 2011
they will probably own most the world soon enough since they are buying up debt all over the place.
If this will contribute to the smoothing of the steep global dominance gradients then it will be fine.
d_robison
5 / 5 (1) May 02, 2011
they will probably own most the world soon enough since they are buying up debt all over the place.
If this will contribute to the smoothing of the steep global dominance gradients then it will be fine.


True enough, I don't really care either way as long as people start striving for scientific discovery and happiness, instead of fighting each other.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.