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June 11, 2003: Chinese manned spacecraft launched

15-day mission to set up experimental space lab is the latest step towards the development of a space station

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
Gulf News

A Chinese manned spacecraft was launched into orbit with three astronauts on board as part of a 15-day mission to set up an experimental space lab. The launch is the latest step towards the development of a space station. Once in orbit, the Shenzhou 10 spacecraft will dock with the Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) 1, a trial space laboratory module, and astronauts — two men and one woman — will carry out experiments and test the module’s systems. China successfully carried out its first manned docking exercise with Tiangong 1 last June, a milestone in an effort to acquire the technological and logistical skills to run a full space station that can house people for long periods.

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