Manned spacecraft Shenzhou-9 to be launched

Updated: 2012-02-17 15:31


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BEIJING - China will launch the manned Shenzhou-9 spacecraft between June and August this year and achieve space rendezvous and docking mission with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab module, a spokesman for China's manned space program said Friday.

The new space docking mission will be realized by astronauts' manual operation, another chance for China to test its docking technology, he spokesman said.

The three crew members of Shenzhou-9 will enter Tiangong-1 vehicle to live and work there, conducting space science experiments.

The target module Tiangong-1, blasted off on September 29, 2011, went into long-term operation in space awaiting docking attempts of Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 after completing China's first space docking mission with the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft in early November.