February 17, 2012
China Planning To Launch New Manned Space Mission
China news agency Xinhua reported on Friday that the country's space agency will be launching its next manned space mission sometime between June and August.
This will be China's fourth manned mission since 2003, and it will attempt to dock with an experimental module that was launched September 29 last year.
According to Xinhua, three astronauts will attempt to dock with the Tiangong-1 module, and will then live and conduct experiments there.
China completed its first docking mission with Tiangong-1 and the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft in early November last year.
The news agency did not say how long the mission would last, but China has scheduled two space docking missions for this year.
Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei became the country's first man in space in 2003, and since then two more manned missions have followed, including one with a space walk.
The country is working on building its very own space station, which will be completed by around 2020.
China began working on plans for an independent space station after it was turned away from being a part of the International Space Station.
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