Shenzhou-8 floats back to Earth
(11.18.2011)

Shenzhou-8 floats back to Earth

Equipment is retrieved from the Shenzhou-8 unmanned spacecraft last night after it made a parachute landing in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Launched on November 1, the Shenzhou-8 craft docked twice with the Tiangong-1 space lab module, which remains in orbit, during a mission proving China capable of successfully docking by remote control. China will conduct two more space docking missions next year, one of them manned, and plans to complete a manned space station by around 2020. China has made steady progress toward a space station since a 2003 launch that made it only the third nation to put a man in space. Two more manned missions have followed, and China seeks to launch a lunar rover next year.