China launches space lab into orbit
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.
29 Sep 2011
- From the section Science & Environment