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SZ-8


SZ-8 is no longer on orbit
SZ-8 is classified as:


NORAD ID: 37859
Int'l Code: 2011-063A
Launch date: October 31, 2011
Source: People's Republic of China (PRC)
Launch site: Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China (JSC)
Decay date: 2011-11-17

Shenzhou 8 (SZ-8) is an unmanned capsule to form an austere space laboratory for future astronaut visits once docked with Tiangong 1. Shenzhou 8 and Tiangong 1 will form a combined spacecraft stretching approximately 60 feet (18.3 m) long. The vehicles will stay docked for 12 days, then Shenzhou 8 will back away and redock for another two days. Tiangong means heavenly palace in English, while Shenzhou is translated as divine craft. Assuming this month's crucial docking tests go well, up to three astronauts could climb aboard the Shenzhou 9 spaceship and blast off early next year. They would dock with Tiangong 1 and conduct experiments inside.
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Source of the keplerian elements: AFSPC