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China's Tiangong 1 space station unveiled for tiny Taikonauts

Thomas Ricker, @trixxy
January 26, 2009
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Ok, it's just a scale model, but what you're looking at is the first module from China's budding Tiangong (meaning "Heavenly Place") space station program. It was just revealed to the surprise and delight of Engadget Chinese during a TV special celebrating the Chinese New Year. The 8 ton module is scheduled to launch by 2010 with two more modules (Tiangong 2 and Tiangong 3) to follow by 2015 after which Taikonauts will begin to stay in orbit. For now, the endeavor is meant to prepare for automated docking trials and to establish a presence in space -- a move that will undoubtedly scare the hell out of hawkish members of western governments.

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