Chinese Crew Enters Tiangong-1 Space Station

Three Chinese Crew Members Occupy The Tiangong Space Orbiter
Image Credit: CCTV

Three hours after automatically docking with the Tiangong-1 space orbiter, Jing Haipeng opened the hatch between the Shenzhou space craft and the orbiter and floated aboard. The mission commander was followed by Liu Wang and Liu Yang.

The Tiangong-1 has been in orbit for 262 days following its launch on 29 September 2011. It was previously visited by the Shenzhou-8 unmanned mission, which was launched on 31 October 2011, docked on 3 November and returned on 19 November.

Tiangong-1 is a test bed for a future space station scheduled for 2020. The module weighs 8.5 metric tons (19,000 pounds) with an interior of 15 cubic meters (540 cubic feet). The module is 3.35 meters in diameter, and 10.4 meters in length.

The crew is scheduled to conduct medical experiments, and to perform a manual docking on 24 June.


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