Long March launch
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Video

China launches space lab

China has launched into orbit its first space laboratory, Tiangong-1, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Gansu Province.

China has launched its first space laboratory, Tiangong-1.

The 10.5m-long, cylindrical module will be unmanned for the time being, but the country's astronauts, or yuhangyuans, are expected to visit it next year.

Tiangong-1 will demonstrate the critical technologies needed by China to build a fully fledged space station - something it has promised to do at the end of the decade.

The space lab made the journey into orbit atop a Long March 2F rocket.