According to an expert, China has a strong intention to launch unmanned space module Tiangong-1 (Heavenly palace – 1) in 2011. This information was communicated by Xinhua news agency. 8,5 ton spacecraft is intended for “long-term space operations” and will become “an essential step” to create Chinese national space station.
Former chief designer of Chinese manned space vehicles programme Qi Faren said that within two years following the module’s launch China will launch Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 to perform an experimental docking with Tiangong-1. Qi is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), top political advisory body.