On the night of Wednesday to Thursday, China passed its first "kiss" space. The Shenzhou VIII launched on 1 November docked successfully test module Tiangong-1 which will remain attached for about 12 days.
|Chinese Spacecraft Shenzhou 8|
The successes keep coming to China and its space program. It has indeed to do a step by passing its first space rendezvous. Wednesday at 5:36 p.m. GMT, Shenzhou VIII, who had taken off on November 1, the base of Jiuquan was united without difficulty to test module Tiangong-1, itself launched on 29 September. Both devices were moored "to a speed of about 28,000 km / h to 343 km above the Earth" , said Thursday the spokesman for the Chinese manned space flight program, Wu Ping.
It was the first time that China was conducting such an operation which is very delicate and requires a good mastery of craft. For the event, the Chinese leaders, including Prime Minister Wen Jiabao had moved to the control center in Beijing to attend at night to the retransmission of the stowage described as a "fucking space" by the media.Cannes in France, President Hu Jintao has sent a congratulatory message to the teams.
Shenzhou VIII and Tiangong-1 will remain docked for about 12 days before separating to come together again for two days. After their second separation, " Shenzhou VIII to return to Earth on November 17 in the afternoon , "said the spokesman quoted by AFP. If the mission is a success, while China plans to launch next year two other ships to join Tiangong-1, Shenzhou IX and Shenzhou successively X, of which at least will be inhabited.
A "heavenly palace" China by 2020
However, the first docking of two spacecraft has been a crucial step in the conquest of space , crossed by the Russians and Americans in the 1960s. This allows China to position itself as a potential future major space power. Although it is performed a phase of cooperation with Russia around the year 2000, the country has indeed itself developed the technology that has made this the first space rendezvous.
This is part of the program to develop by 2020, China in a space station in which a crew can live independently for several months, as the old Russian space station Mir and the current International Space Station (ISS).