China to establish manned space station around 2020

Updated: 2011-11-03 13:40


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BEIJING- China will complete the second step of its three-phase development strategy for its manned space program by establishing its own space lab around 2016, a spokeswoman for China's manned space program said Thursday.

Spokeswoman Wu Ping made the remarks at a press conference here after the country's unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou-8 and the space lab module Tiangong-1 successfully docked with each other at 1:36 am Thursday.

China will establish a manned space station around 2020, Wu said.

China's spacecraft will conduct two more space docking missions in 2012. After that, the nation will begin to build a space lab and space station.

China's unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou-8 and its space lab module Tiangong-1 rendezvoused early Thursday, successfully completing the country's first-ever space docking.

Shenzhou-8 and Tiangong-1 will fly together for about 12 days and then conduct the second space docking at an appropriate time.

Through more than 10 years of efforts, China has made breakthroughs in key technologies and formed a set of design, production and experiment systems for the spacecraft's space docking, Wu said.