China Launches Latest Manned Mission
China has successfully launched its latest manned space mission, setting the country one step closer to creating a permanently manned space station.
Shenzou-10 launched from the Jiquan base in Inner Mongolia earlier today, carrying 3 astronauts on a mission to practice docking with test module, Tiangong-1. Shenzou-10 is the 5th manned mission sent to space from China and the second to send astronauts into orbit with a view to practice docking operations.
China hopes to have it's space station operating by 2020, but while the nation's space operations have been relatively closed off to other nations, a successful Chinese space station could open up opportunities for other countries. The European Space agency is just one of those in open discussions with China over a potential partnership, the BBC reports.
For now though, China appears to be making steady process with another successful launch. This latest mission sees Commander Nie Hasheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping take a 40 hour journey to their destination, at which they will spend around 2 weeks practicing operations around the Tiangong Space Lab.