News / Asia

    China Prepares for First Manual Space Docking Mission

    Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng (C), Liu Wang (R) and Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut, wave to the media during a news conference at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in northwest China's Gansu province, June 15, 2012.
    Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng (C), Liu Wang (R) and Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut, wave to the media during a news conference at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in northwest China's Gansu province, June 15, 2012.
    Stephanie Ho
    BEIJING - China is preparing to launch three astronauts into space, as part of efforts to become the third country to have a permanent base orbiting the Earth. The astronauts, including China's first female in space, will live and work on a space station for more than a week.
     
    Workers at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China's western Gansu province put the finishing touches on the Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft, which is due to launch Saturday.
     
    The program's spokeswoman, Wu Ping, told reporters Friday the rocket is being fueled as one final step before the launch.
     
    She said rehearsals of the Shenzhou-9's main systems have been completed, the crew is in good condition and all preparations have been made. The spokeswoman explained that the Shenzhou-9 will separate from its rocket and automatically dock with Tiangong-1, a space module that is orbiting more than 300 kilometers above the earth.
     
    She said when the two vehicles connect, the astronauts will enter the experimental Tiangong-1 vehicle and live there for nearly two weeks to carry out scientific and technological experiments.  The crew also will work to dock the vessels manually.
     
    The crew includes veteran astronaut Jing Haipeng, who will be the mission's commander, and Liu Wang. The astronaut receiving the most attention, though, is Liu Yang, an air force pilot who expressed gratitude for being the first Chinese woman astronaut. Liu also thanked the People's Liberation Army for supporting China's space exploration business. She added that the country will work together to gain more pride for China.
     
    Program spokeswoman Wu Ping called Liu's participation a landmark event. She said having a Chinese female astronaut fly for the first time represents not only a technical breakthrough, but is also very socially significant in China, where boys are traditionally valued above girls.
     
    This is a big week for Chinese explorers. China's manned deep-sea submersible, the Jiaolong, has finished the first in a series of six dives aimed at reaching the country's deepest-ever manned dive of 7,000 meters. The first dive surpassed 6,000 meters in the Mariana Trench, one of the deepest places on the earth.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Norman Chen from: Las vegas Nevada
    June 20, 2012 2:30 PM
    To all mix breed Mutts on earth and U.S. and backward Russians. ( Hate to said. born in Brooklyn NYC. ) Dragon have risin again. After the Mix breed Euro thugs devils. and will stay Rsin for many Millenium. 'Yes. Even we're are all six feet under ! "So Proud of my Heritage. 'For the fraction bloodline mother f***ers and Dot Head. eat your heart out. lmfao

    by: daily from: china guangzhou
    June 17, 2012 11:46 PM
    how will they come back?

    by: HFY from: China
    June 16, 2012 2:27 AM
    Congratulations to Liu Yang!

    by: Stanton from: San Diego
    June 15, 2012 11:45 PM
    hope the ISS has good insurance

    by: Jonathan Huang from: Canada
    June 15, 2012 7:31 PM
    I am so proud! Go,China Go!

    by: Anonymous
    June 15, 2012 7:17 PM
    Congratulation, good job China!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora