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Shenzhou-9 Spacecraft Delivered to Launch Center

BEIJING - The manned spacecraft Shenzhou-9 was delivered to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China on Monday, a spokesman with the country's manned space program said.

The assembly of the Shenzhou-9 and its associate vehicles was complete, but its carrier rocket, the Long March-2F, had not been delivered as it was undergoing tests, the spokesman said.

China will launch the manned Shenzhou-9 spacecraft between June and August this year and strive for a manned space rendezvous and docking mission with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab module.

Preparations at the Jiuquan launch center are well underway, said the spokesman, adding that the Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace-1, is orbiting without problems, and is capable of docking with Shenzhou-9.

The target module Tiangong-1, blasted off on September 29, 2011, went into long-term operation in space awaiting docking attempts of Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 after completing China's first space docking mission with the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft in early November.

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