China to attempt first space rendezvous

Yang Liwei
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

China plans space station with module launch in 2010

(c) 2011 AFP

Citation: China to attempt first space rendezvous (2011, April 29) retrieved 24 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-china-space-rendezvous.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Apr 29, 2011
And then the station will fire its engines and head to Europa.
Go China go!

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...

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.

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