19 June 2012
News - Vehicles (Good)
China's First Manned Docking of Space Module Is a Success
...and a first step
by Carol Pinchefsky
China, a country with over 4500 years of recorded history, gave the world, gunpowder, paper, compasses, movable type, and even the seismological detector. Now China has one more bullet point to its list of achievements: It’s the third country to have docked two spacecraft in orbit.

On June 18, 2012, three astronauts—Jing Haipeng (alumni of the Shenzhou 7 mission), Liu Wang, and China’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang—docked the Shenzhou 9 craft with the Tiangong-1, an orbiting module.

According to China Manned Space Engineering, the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft took two hours to drift toward Tiangong-1 lab module, but the craft docked with the module “in less than eight minutes.” Previously, the Tiangong-1 had one other spacecraft successfully dock, but the Shenzhou 8 was an unmanned spacecraft.

For more about China's first manned docking of a space module, click here.

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Carol Pinchefsky 19 June 2012
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