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China to launch two space modules

China will launch 2 unmanned space modules in the second half of this year, a media report said.



Beijing: China will launch two unmanned space modules in the second half of this year, a media report said.

The modules, named Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-8, will take part in the first space docking maneuver ever conducted by Chinese astronauts, said Yang Liwei, deputy head of China`s Manned Space Engineering Office.

The 8.5-tonne Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace 1", is expected to dock with the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, according to China Daily Friday.

During its two-year lifespan, Tiangong-1 will dock with two other Shenzhou spacecraft, Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10, which will be launched in 2012, it said.

Space docking is recognized as a key technique used in the construction of space stations. Yang said China will have its own space station by 2020.

A 21-member team, including two women astronauts, is currently undergoing training for the docking procedure, he said.

"If things go well, the team`s female astronauts are expected to conduct a manned space mission in the future," the daily quoted Fei Junlong, head of the team, as saying.

Yang and Fei undertook space missions in 2003 and 2005 respectively.

IANS

From Zee News

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