Pak among countries invited for China’s space flight launch


China has invited scientists from Pakistan, Germany, France, Italy, Russia and the EU to watch the launch of its next month’s manned space flight to send two astronauts to join a space lab which has been put into orbit, a media report said.

The scientists were invited to watch the launch of Shenzhou 11 capsule from Inner Mongolia in October, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

The capsule will be propelled by a Long March 2F rocket similar to the one which put the experimental space lab Tiangong-2 into orbit last night without a hitch. The Tiangong-2 launch was telecast live on state TV.

China has been helping Pakistan’s space programme. It has launched Pakistan’s communication Satellite PAKSAT-1R in 2011. Recent reports said the two countries had signed an agreement to launch a remote sensing satellite in 2018 to monitor the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC).

The invitation to scientists from Germany, France, Russia and EU showed China’s growing confidence in its space programme, a commentator on state-run CCTV said last night.

In April 2017, China’s first cargo spaceship Tianzhou-1 will be sent into orbit to dock with the space lab, providing fuel and other supplies.

If the fuel-supply experiment goes well, China will then become the second country after Russia to master the in-orbit propellant technique, Zhu Congpeng, chief designer of Tiangong-2 said.