The next step in China’s space program is launch of that country’s first space station module.
The Tiangong-1module has been transported to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu Province. Now on site, the hardware is slated to undergo final tests before its scheduled liftoff later this year, according to several Chinese news outlets.
The 8.5 ton space laboratory, Tiangong-1, is designed to serve as a rendezvous and docking platform for China’s future spacecraft.
China plans to hurl into Earth orbit the Tiangong-1 on a Long March II-F carrier rocket. It would be followed by launch of an unpiloted Shenzhou-8 spacecraft in the latter half of this year, to carry out the nation’s first space docking.
Meanwhile, China’s first human space movie theme “Flying” is being premiered. Produced by August First Film Studio, the film is focused on China’s first generation and new generation of astronauts for that nation’s human spaceflight program.
By Leonard David