China Now 3rd Country to Complete Space Feat

Crew to spend 6 days on space lab after successful docking
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2012 6:33 AM CDT
China's astronauts Jing Haipeng, center, Liu Wang, left, and Liu Yang sit inside the Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft while conducting docking with the Tiangong-1 space lab module earlier today.   (AP Photo/Beijing Aerospace Control Center via Xinhua)
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(Newser) – China has officially joined the US and Russia as just the third country in the world to have completed a manned space docking, reports CNN. Earlier today the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft docked with the orbiting Tiangong-1, the next step in the Middle Kingdom's ambitious five-year plan for space exploration. The three-person crew, which includes China's first female astronaut, will spend six days on the Tiangong-1 performing "scientific experiments, technical tests, and physical exercises," according to China's official news agency. You can get a full run-down of China's space plans over at NASA Space Flight. (Read more China stories.)

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