A 3D animation of the Tiangong-1 space module
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China to launch space laboratory

29 September 2011 Last updated at 13:21 BST

China is due to launch its first space laboratory into orbit.

The country will send the Tiangong-1, a 10.5m long, cylindrical spacecraft, which will be unmanned and monitored from the ground.

The lab will ride into orbit on top of a long rocket which will fly around Earth - just a few hundred kilometres above its surface.

Chinese astronauts, who are also known as yuhangyuans, are expected to visit it next year.