Posts Tagged ‘Tiangong-1’

China achieves space docking

November 2nd, 2011 20 comments

Shenzhou8 and Tiangong1 Docking

Little over a month ago, China launched the Tiangong-1 space lab module and announced a planned next step of conducting space docking within two months. Launched couple of days ago, Shenzhou-8 has made a successful space dock with Tiangong-1. This is a major milestone for China’s space program as this is a crucial step in building a space station.

China is the third nation to achieve this capability. The U.S. first achieved it back in 1966. China’s solution is unique. The China Daily report quoted Gregory Kulacki, senior analyst and China project manager at the global security program of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit scientific advocacy group based in the United States: Read more…

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China launches first Tiangong-1 space lab module

September 29th, 2011 12 comments

Tiangong-1 Module launches

China has successfully launched her first Tiangong-1 ( 天宫一号, “Heavenly Palace 1”) space lab module that would eventually dock with a series of other ones to form a space station. China Daily reports:

Zhang Shancong, deputy chief designer of the Tiangong-1, told Xinhua that the module carries special cameras which will take hyperspectral images of China’s vast farmlands to detect heavy metal pollution and pesticide residue as well as plant disease.

Moreover, scientists on the ground will also conduct experiments on photonic crystal, a new material expected to revolutionize information technology, in the low-gravity environment inside the Tiangong-1 as these experiements would be extremely difficult to conduct on Earth’s surface.

The Shenzhou-8 will be used to conduct docking experiments with the module in one month’s time. If successful, China will be the third nation behind U.S. and Russia to have achieved this milestone. Read more…

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