China prepares for manned space docking this year
Beijing: China`s first unmanned space module, the Tiangong-1, is now capable of accommodating astronauts, and it may be possible for China to carry out its first manned space docking mission this year, a top space engineer said Thursday.
China will launch its manned Shenzhou-9 spacecraft between June and August this year, and conduct a space docking mission with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab module, Qi Faren, a member of the Chinese People`s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country`s top political advisory body, told Xinhua.
Qi is the former chief designer of the Shenzhou spaceships series.
Chinese space engineers had previously planned to let one more unmanned docking by Shenzhou-9. The Shenzhou-10 spacecraft was scheduled to make the first manned space docking mission.
Qi said the previous unmanned docking between the Shenzhou-8 and the Tiangong-1 was "much better than what we had anticipated".
"Therefore, we decided to put forward the manned docking mission with the Shenzhou-9 ahead of schedule," he said.
He said tests showed that the environment and food reserves inside the Tiangong-I space lab module would be able to sustain one astronaut living and working there for 60 days, or two astronauts for 30 days.
Three astronauts have been picked for the manned docking, and they have already completed training.
He said one of the three Shenzhou-9 crew members will not board the Tiangong-1 but remain inside the spacecraft as a precautionary measure in case of emergency.
The 8.5-tonne Tiangong-1 is orbiting 400 km above the Earth`s surface. Launched in September last year, the Tiangong-1 completed the country`s first-ever space docking with the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft in November.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Analysis of Indus water treaty between India and Pakistan
- DNA: US army's joint exercise with Indian Army and their consolation on Uri attack
- India- America joint military exercise begins in Ranikhet
- Exclusive: This is what Kashmir's stone pelters have to say!
- India to activate laser walls on LOC to stop infiltration
- SETBACK! Sedition case against 200 Congress workers for shouting 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans during rally for Uri martyrs
- Did Arvind Kejriwal tweet in favour of Pakistan over Uri attacks? Here is what Twitter says
- Rameez Raja picks all-time XI - Three Indians, but just one Pakistani make it to the list
- This Hindu-dominated village in West Bengal is not allowed to organise Durga Puja as Muslims don't want it
- As Pakistan gloats over hosting 70 Russians, 250 Indian Army soldiers renew bonds in Vladivostok