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Monday, December 29, 2008

China Planning Place in Heaven

Space Lab SimulatorA located inside the Beijing Space City

The People's Republic of China rocket scientists and engineers are planning a "place in heaven" called Tiangong 1 [vid] for future taikonauts in the 2011 to 2012 time frame according to various sources. Tiangong 1 will be an eight ton "space laboratory module."

Zhang Jianqi (张建启), Vice Director of China manned space engineering. declared in an interview of China Central Television that Tiangong 1 will be launched at 2010~2011 with the possibility that an unmanned Shenzhou 8, and human-rated Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10 will dock with the new Chinese orbital outpost, according to Global Security. The Long March 5 booster is being planned to boost space labs and space stations [video] and perhaps using the new booster to break earth orbit for a human fly around of the moon.

China said in 2006 that it wants to become the 17th member of the International Space Station program, which includes the U.S., Canada and nations in the European Space Agency.

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