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  Europe to cooperate with China on building a space station
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27th Feb 2013, 8:22 AM
China plans to build and start running a large 60-ton space station by 2020 and the latest info suggest that not only Chinese but also European astronauts could be visiting it. The reason for this quite surprising piece of information is a plan that involves China and Europe to cooperate on constructing the new space station.

China already has a Tiangong-1 space laboratory orbiting the Earth, which serves as a prototype module for the upcoming space station modules. In November 2011 when an unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou docked with Tiangong-1, the Russian docking system didn't work quite as well as suspected. That is why the European delegation, along with ESA's (European Space Station) director-general Jean-Jacques Dordain traveled to Bejijing and suggested the Chinese to use their version of docking system, which would also allow spacecrafts from other countries to dock to the new space station.

Animation of the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft docking with Tiangong-1, then separation and landing:

Bellow you can see the infographic of how the China's first space station will work.

More here: http://www.space.com/19960-china-space-s....

changed: mat (27th Feb 2013, 5:05 PM)
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