China's Shenzhou-9 Docks with Tiangong-1

China's Shenzhou-9 Docks with Tiangong-1

China’s Shenzhou-9 spacecraft with its three-person crew successfully docked with the Tiangong-1 space station this morning (Eastern Daylight Time).

Docking took place at 2:09 pm Beijing time (2:09 am EDT) and the crew soon moved into the 8.6 metric ton Tiangong-1 module. Video of crew entering the Tiangong-1 module was shown on China’s English-language CCTV.

Shenzhou-9 was launched on Saturday, June 16, with the main goal of conducting the first crewed docking with a space station.  The Tiangong-1 module was launched last September and docking operations were conducted in November with an automated Shenzhou-8 in November, but this is the first time people have docked with the space station.

This was an automated docking, but on June 24 the crew will undock and then perform a manual redocking as a test.   The total mission is scheduled to last 13 days, with 5 of those days docked with Tiangong-1.  In addition to demonstrating rendezvous and docking techniques, the crew will conduct a series of biological experiments.

The crew is commanded by Jing Haipeng.   Liu Wang will perform the manual docking.   Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut, is in charge of the scientific experiments.


User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.