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China's First Manual Space Docking Successful
SOURCE: Xinhua     UPDATED: 2012-06-24
BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Three Chinese astronauts Sunday successfully completed a manual docking between Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module, the first such attempt in China's history of space exploration.

It means China has completely grasped space rendezvous and docking technologies and the country is fully capable of transferring humans and cargo to an orbiter in space, which is essential for building a space station.

Astronaut Liu Wang, assisted by his teammates Jing Haipeng and Liu Yang, controlled the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to dock with the Tiangong-1 space lab module at 12:42 p.m.

The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 lab module has been conjoined again.

About one and half hours before the docking, Shenzhou-9 parted from Tiangong-1 to the berth point 400 meters away from the module.