The unmanned Shenzhou VIII spacecraft launched on Tuesday morning includes 17 life science experiments supplied by Chinese and German researchers, the Xinhua news agency reports. The spacecraft will dock with the Tiangong-1 space station to test technologies for later crew missions.
“Among the research programs, 10 will be dominated by China and six by Germany, and the two sides will jointly carry out one program,” [spokeswoman] Wu [Ping] said.
Zhao Liping, one lead designer for the Shenzhou-8 space application system, said the Sino-German joint program is research on an enclosed space ecosystem.
All the 17 experiments will be conducted in devices jointly provided by China and Germany, according to an agreement between the China Manned Space Program office and the German Aerospace Center in May 2008.
German scientists designed bio-incubators for the experiments while their Chinese counterparts are in charge of the development of control equipment and apparatus connecting with the spacecraft, Wu said.
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