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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

China details plans for own orbital space station


BEIJING (AFP) – China will attempt its first space docking between two unmanned vehicles this year, the first step in efforts to build a Chinese space station, a senior official said Friday.

Yang Liwei detailed the next stages of China's human spaceflight programme during a press visit to Space City in Beijing, a research and training centre normally closed to the public.

"Our next goal is to realise a space docking of two vehicles during the second half of 2011," said Yang, whose journey into space in 2003 made him the first Chinese astronaut.

The manoeuvre will involve the Tiangong 1 module and the Shenzhou 8 rocket, said Yang, confirming an announcement made last October.

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