China to send unmanned space module this year

The 8.5-tonne Tiangong-1 is expected to dock with the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft.

Updated: Mar 01, 2011, 21:09 PM IST

Beijing: China plans to launch an unmanned
space module in the second half of 2011 for the nation`s first
space docking, the official media said today.

The 8.5-tonne Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace 1, is
expected to dock with the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft,
which will be sent into space after the launch of Tiangong-1,
said Qi Faren, former chief designer of Shenzhou spaceships,
according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

Qi, a member of the 11th National Committee of the
Chinese People`s Political Consultative Conference, made the
remarks before the annual session of the country`s top
political advisory body, which is scheduled to open Thursday.