China starts work on manned space laboratory

October 27th, 2010 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 27 (IANS) China has begun work of its manned space laboratory to be completed by 2020, a media report said Wednesday.

The first part of the laboratory will be launched before 2016. Living conditions for astronauts and research applications will be studied, China Daily reported quoting a spokesman for the space programme.

A core cabin and a second laboratory module will be launched by 2020, he said.

“Technologies needed to build and run the space station complex and long-term manned space flight in terrestrial space will be grasped,” the spokesman said.

China plans to launch two unmanned space modules, Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-8, in 2011, which were expected to accomplish the country’s first space docking and were regarded as an essential step toward building a space station.

Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace, would eventually be transformed into a manned space laboratory after experimental dockings with Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 spacecraft, with the last two carrying two or three astronauts each.

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