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Shenzhou undocks, redocks with Tiangong module
Posted: Tue, Nov 15, 2011, 6:24 AM ET (1124 GMT)
Shenzhou-8 redocking with Tiangong-1 (Xinhua) An uncrewed Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft undocked from the experimental Tiangong-1 module on Monday and redocked with the module a short time later, the last major test of this mission to demonstrate Chinese docking technology. The Shenzhou-8 module undocked from the Tiangong-1 module at 6:27 am EST (1127 GMT) Monday, moved out to a distance of about 140 meters, and redocked with the module about a half-hour later, according to Chinese officials, who said the test went as planned. Shenzhou-8, launched on November 1, first docked with Tiangong-1 on November 3. The spacecraft will remain docked for two more days before Shenzhou-8 undocks and returns to Earth. The successful docking tests may clear the way for China to launch a crewed Shenzhou spacecraft next year to Tiangong-1, a prototype space lab that is part of Chinese efforts to develop a full-fledged space station by the end of the decade.
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