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China tests 1st space station module to launch into orbit in 2011

By Nitsi

Beijing, Aug 18 (ANI): China has claimed that it has completed construction of the first module, Tiangong-1, for a planned space station, and is testing its electronics and other systems before launching it into orbit next year.

According to Xinhua, the space module is expected to carry out China's first space docking with the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, which will be launched in the second half of 2011.

Tiangong-1 module reportedly would have to pass a series of electrical, mechanical and thermal performance tests before being sent into orbit next year.

Experts are currently building the Shenzhou-8 and testing the Long March II-F carrier rocket on which the Tiangong-1 is expected to be launched, Xinhua reported.

If the docking is successful, later missions are planned with astronauts who would live and work at the space station.

China has said that astronauts already are being trained for the manned mission, which might include the country's two female astronauts for the first time.(ANI)

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