Skooter reporting 06/10/12
In a plan with a purpose of giving the country a permanent space station by 2020, China will launch a spacecraft this June to conduct its first manned space docking, Xinhua news agency said Saturday.
At the Jiuquan Satellie Launch Center in northwest China, the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and its carrier rocket have already been moved to the launch platform, the Xinhua news agency said, citing the country's manned space program.
The mission would involve three astronauts manually docking with the Tiangong-1 module that is now orbiting Earth, officials said.
According to the state media, China is planning to send its first woman astronaut to space this year after female astronauts are to be included in the team training for its first manned space docking.
In 2003, China sent its first person into space and has since performed several manned missions, but has never included a woman. Also in the same year, China became the third country to send humans into space after Russia and America, and is also seeking into sending astronauts to the moon, though nothing has been set yet.