China has launched the next step in its plan to having a permanent presence in space, sending an unmanned craft Tuesday morning to attempt docking with the station is launched in late September.
The official Xinhua news agency reported the launch of the Shenzhou 8 craft that will dock with the Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace-1," the next step in China's plan for a permanent presence in space. Officials told Xinhua that two more crafts will be launched next year in the space station program. Space experts have said China's plans to dock without humans running the ships are safer, but potentially more prone to error.
The are emerging concerns from the US and elsewhere about China's plans in space, particularly in the wake of recent reports that China-based hackers have interfered with US satellites.