China’s manned Shenzhou-9 capsule successfully lined up and docked with the Tiangong-1 space lab at 2 a.m. EST today. The Shenzhou-9 carries three Chinese astronauts (or, as China calls them, taikonauts), including Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut. This space mission will last 13 days, during which time the crew will perform a second manned docking. China is the third country to send a human crew to space, and this is their fourth manned flight. Near-earth space saw another historic linkup less than a month ago when Space X’s Dragon became the first commercial space craft to dock with the International Space Station.
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