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Photos: China Launches First Space Lab, Tiangong 1

China's Tiangong-1 Lifts Off


China launches the Tiangong-1 space lab module Sept. 29, 2011 atop a Chinese Long March 2F rocket from the Gobi desert.

Tiangong 1 Space Lab Gets Rocket

China Manned Space Engineering Office

Chinese engineers assemble the Long March 2F T1 rocket that will launch the Tiangong 1 space laboratory into orbit in 2011.

China's Tiangong 1 Space Lab

China Manned Space Engineering Office

This artist's illustration from a China space agency video shows the Tiangong 1 space laboratory, a prototype module for the country's planned space station.

Liftoff of China's Tiangong-1


China's Tiangong-1 space lab module, the precursor for a manned space station, launched on Sept. 29, 2011.

Tiangong-1 Launch Rocket View


The view from China's Long March 2F rocket as it launches the Tiangong-1 module Sept. 29, 2011.

China's Tiangong Mission Control


A view of China's Mission Control Center during the launch of Tiangong-1 Sept. 29, 2011

Long March 2F Rocket


A view of the Long March 2F rocket engines during China's Tiangong-1 liftoff Sept. 29, 2011.

Tiangong Spacecraft Separation


Spacecraft separation for China's Tiangong-1 module from its Long March 2F rocket

Tiangong 1 Space Lab Orbital Diagram

China Manned Space Engineering Office

China's planned orbit for the Tiangong 1 space lab after launch a 350-kilometer path around Earth.

Tiangong-1 Spacecraft


An illustration of China's Tiangong-1 spacecraft just after its launch on Sept. 29, 2011, as seen from Chinese Mission Control.

China's Tiangong 1 at the Launch Site

China Manned Space Engineering

China's Tiangong 1 spacecraft and Long March 2F rocket is pictured at the launch site after being transferred from a facility at the Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center.

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