Shenzhou 10 docks with space lab

2013-06-13 20:23
Chinese astronaut Liu Wang, left, tries to help his female colleague Liu Yang move forward as their commander Jing Haipeng waves in the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module. (Beijing Aerospace Control Centre via Xinhua, AP/File)

Chinese astronaut Liu Wang, left, tries to help his female colleague Liu Yang move forward as their commander Jing Haipeng waves in the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module. (Beijing Aerospace Control Centre via Xinhua, AP/File)

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Beijing - China's latest manned space capsule docked with an orbiting space station on Thursday, and the three astronauts climbed aboard what will be their home for the next week, state media reported.

Automated controls guided the Shenzhou-10's docking with the space lab, the Xinhua News Agency said. After entering the space lab, the crew exchanged their space gear for blue jumpsuits, Xinhua said.

During their 12-day stay at the lab, the astronauts will perform a manual docking exercise and conduct scientific experiments. They will also deliver a series of science lectures - part of an outreach to increase the space programme's popularity among younger Chinese.

The lab, the Tiangong-1, is an experimental space station. In operation for less than two years, it will be taken out of use later this year and replaced by a larger, more durable module by 2020.

The latest Shenzhou flight, the fifth manned mission in a decade in a programme that has been marked by methodical advances to catch up with the other two manned space powers - Russia and the US.

- AP
Read more on:    china  |  space
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