China has, on the night of Wednesday 2 to Thursday, November 3, a further step to become a major space power by passing the docking of two unmanned vessels, crucial step towards building a space station planned by 2020. At 17 h 36 GMT Wednesday, the Shenzhou-8 has joined to the module Tiangong-1 at a speed of about 28 000 km / h to 343 km above the Earth, said Thursday the spokesman Chinese manned space flight program, "Wu Ping." Shenzhou-8, whose name means "divine vessel" had taken off Tuesday from the base of Jiuquan, which was also a party on September 29 module test Tiangong-1 ("heavenly palace").
Chinese leaders including Premier Wen Jiabao attended at night to the retransmission of the operation, described as a "kiss" space in the media from the control center in Beijing. President Hu Jintao, who is in France to attend the G20 summit in Cannes, has sent a congratulatory message. ORBITAL STATION CHINA Shenzhou-8 and Tiangong-1 will remain docked for about twelve days before separating, to unite again for two days. Seconds after their separation, "Shenzhou-8 must return to Earth on November 17 in the afternoon," said Wu Ping during a press conference.
The first tie is part of the program for providing, by a decade, China a space station in which a crew can live independently for several months, as the old Russian space station Mir and the ISS (ISS). If the Shenzhou-8 is successful, China will launch next year two other ships to join Tiangong-1, Shenzhou-9 and successively Shenzhou-10, which at least will be inhabited.
News by Lemonde
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