Shenzhou 8 Launch

Shenzhou 8
Shenzhou 8
Image Credit: CCTV

China is preparing to launch their Shenzhou-8 unmanned space craft aboard a Long March-2F (Y8) rocket. The mission is to practice docking with the Tiangong-1 module, which was launched on 29 September.

Currently, the countdown is on track, with 15 minutes to go. Liftoff is expected at 2158 UTC.

T-minus 5 minutes.

T-minus 60 seconds.

Launch.

Shenzhou 8
Shenzhou 8 Launch
Image Credit: CCTV

The boosters separated successfully.

Five minutes into the flight.

Ten minutes and all systems appear to be functioning properly.

The solar panels on the spacecraft have been deployed.

Assuming that systems are good, the first docking is expected to take place on 3 November. TianGong-1 and Shenzhou-8 will stay docked for 12 days.

Then they will undock and a second docking maneuver will take place. After another period of docking, the unmanned spacecraft will be commanded via autonomous flight to return to Earth.

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3 thoughts on “Shenzhou 8 Launch

  1. Pingback: October 2011 « NSS Phoenix Space News

  2. Pingback: Shenzhou 8 Spacecraft Returns « The National Space Society of Phoenix

  3. Pingback: Chinese Crew Enters Tiangong-1 Space Station « The National Space Society of Phoenix

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