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China launches its first space lab module

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:36 am via: RIA Novosti
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China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Thursday.

The Long March-2FT1 rocket carrying the module blasted off at 09:16 pm Beijing Time (13:16 GMT) and has already reached its designated orbit.

The module will test docking with a spacecraft by mid-November, paving the way for China to become the third country to operate a permanent space station around 2020, state news agency Xinhua said. The next two docking tests will take place in 2012.

The 8.5-tone module will remain in the orbit for two years, operating mainly in an unmanned regime. It is also capable of carrying up to three astronauts for 20 days.

Copyright 2011 RIA Novosti. All rights reserved.

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