China's latest manned space mission to launch June 11

BEIJING Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:55am EDT

1 of 7. Chinese astronauts of the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft mission (from L to R) Wang Yaping, Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang wave in front of a Chinese national flag as they meet the media at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu province June 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/China Daily

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China will launch its next manned space flight on Tuesday, carrying three astronauts on a 15-day mission to an experimental space lab, the National Space Administration said, in the latest step towards the development of a space station.

The Shenzhou 10 spacecraft will launch from a remote site in the Gobi desert in China's far west at 5:38 p.m. (0938 GMT), Wu Ping, spokeswoman for China's manned space program, told a televised briefing on Monday.

Once in orbit, the craft will dock with the Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) 1, a trial space laboratory module, and the two male and one female astronauts will carry out various experiments and test the module's systems.

They will also give a lecture to students back on earth, Wu said.

China is still far from catching up with the established space superpowers, the United States and Russia.

But the Shenzhou 10 mission will be the latest show of China's growing prowess in space and comes while budget restraints and shifting priorities have held back U.S. manned space launches.

It will be China's fifth manned space mission since 2003.

China also plans an unmanned moon landing and deployment of a moon rover. Scientists have raised the possibility of sending a man to the moon, but not before 2020.

(Reporting by Jonathan Standing; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Comments (3)
HWALSH10284 wrote:
China is still far from catching up with the established space superpowers, the United States and Russia.

But at least they are doing something. It won’t take long for them to pass us up if we keep going back wards.

Jun 10, 2013 12:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
uihcihc wrote:
Has anyone noticed that the Chinese have no ideas of its own?? The United States has a space shuttle, so the Chinese is building one. The US has a stealth fighter, so the Chinese is keen on getting its own. The US and its allies have a space station, so the Chinese wants one too. Isn’t it funny how everything “created” by the Chinese look just like the ones in the US. Why do you suppose that’s the case?

Jun 11, 2013 12:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
explorer08 wrote:
Do not make the mistake of poo pooing the Chinese space efforts. China is the only country on earth that takes the long view, the strategic view. They are planning FAR into their own future. Yes, they are slow in their space development but they are very steady. Sure, they are copying the accomplishments of other countries from the past (USA and USSR) but they are gaining experience and they are gaining it very, very fast. I strongly suspect (sadly) that the Chinese will catch up and surpass us in the US within 15 years. To the Chinese 15 years is nothing because they are looking out 30, 40, 50 years and more and planning for it. The Chinese are in the game. Is the US still in the game? No.

Jun 11, 2013 10:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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