28 October 2011

China to Launch Spacecraft

China plans to launch its Shenzhou-8 spacecraft in early next month to dock with its first spacelab module Tiangong-1.

The spacecraft, to be launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, is expected to perform the first space docking with Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace-1, a space lab module that was launched in September from the same launch center.

The Shenzhou-8 spacecraft and the carrier rocket, Long March-2F, are being vertically transferred to the launch pad at the center, marking the countdown of the blasting off of the unmanned spacecraft, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.