Chinese Long March II F rocket with four liquid-fueled strap-on boosters was ignited at 5:58 p.m. GMT-4 and it quickly climbed away from its launching pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in north central China.

A Chinese Long March-2F rocket successfully boosted an unmanned Shenzhou capsule into orbit today for an automated rendezvous and docking with a prototype space station module, a key milestone in China's drive to build an operational station later this decade.

Nine minutes after takeoff, Shenzhou-8 spacecraft was separated from the  Long MarchIIF rocket booster. and its solar panels were unfolded few minutes later.

Flight controllers of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation will guide Shenzhou-8 capsule to dock with Tiangong-1 for 12 days of joint operations.
Tiangong-1 is serving as a prototype main module for the Chinese space station with dimensions measuring 34 feet long, 11 feet wide and tips the scales at 8.5 tons.

Long MarchIIF Rocket Ready For Takeoff with ShenZhou8 Capsule

Chinese ShenZhou8 Space Capsule Before Launch

Chinese Long MarchIIF Rocket Takesoff with ShenZhou8 Space Capsule

Long MarchIIF Rocket Takesoff with ShenZhou8 Capsule

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