November 1, 2011
China Launches Unmanned Spacecraft Successfully
China launched an unmanned spacecraft on Tuesday morning, taking its space agency one step closer to having its own permanent manned space station.
The Shenzhou 8 blasted off in Jiuquan, China this morning, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
The agency said that Chang Wanquan, who leads China's space program, announced the launch was successful.
The spacecraft will attempt to dock with an experimental module, carrying out maneuvers to couple with the Tiangong 1 that launched a month ago.
"It will make it possible for China to carry out space exploration of larger scale," Zhou told Xinhua Sunday.
"The mastering of rendezvous and docking technologies will lay a key technical foundation for China's building of space station and deep-space exploration," Zhou said.
He said China has mastered basic technologies for manned spacecraft and extravehicular activities.
Zhou also told Xinhua that China welcomes other countries to participate in its space program and is willing to join in international aerospace corporation.
"We shall open our space station to the world to create a platform of scientific research for Chinese scientists and their peers from all over the world," Zhou told Xinhua.
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