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Russians may visit China’s orbital module — space agency

November 12, 2014, 15:45 UTC+3 ZHUHAI (China)

Chinese cosmonauts may visit the International Space Station

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Shenzhou-9 parts from the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab (archive)

Shenzhou-9 parts from the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab (archive)

© AP Photo/Beijing Aerospace Control Center

ZHUHAI (China), November 12. /TASS/. Russian cosmonauts may in the future visit the Chinese orbiting module Tiangong-1, and their Chinese colleagues may visit the International Space Station (ISS), head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) Oleg Ostapenko said on Wednesday.

“As for the possible manned flight program projects, China has such an interest and they have expressed it in the negotiations we held today,” Ostapenko said, answering reporters’ questions at the Airshow China 2014 International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition.

According to the Roscosmos head, this option has already been discussed with Russian specialists on the sidelines of the exhibition. “I do not exclude a variant in which we could consider sending our cosmonauts to the Chinese station and in the future see China’s taikonauts (Chinese astronauts) on our segment of the ISS,” the Federal Space agency head said.

Tiangong-1 is the first Chinese experimental space station. Tiangong-1 was launched in September 2011 on a modified CZ-2F carrier rocket called CZ-2F/G. The Tiangong module is 3.35 meters in diameter and has an approximately mass of 8,500 kg. It features one docking port. The unmanned Shenzhou-8 spaceship was launched for its docking test in the second half of 2011. The manned Shenzhou-9 and 10 missions’ spacecraft were launched in 2012 and 2013.

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