China to Launch New Space Station in 2011

BEIJING -- China is planning its own space station -- and it's finished the first module.

The official Xinhua News Agency says the module's electronics and other systems are being tested. It also says changes are being made on a two-stage Long March 2F rocket that will carry the 8.5 ton module into a set orbit next year.

The Shenzhou 8 spacecraft will dock with it in the second half of 2011, with two more flights to follow the next year.

Xinhua did not reports any dates for when the space station would be finished or manned.

China is also planing to launch a second lunar probe in October and make an unmanned moon landing in 2012. A possible manned lunar mission has also been proposed for 2017.China launched its first manned flight in 2003, joining Russia and the United States as

the only countries to launch humans into orbit.