Chinese taikonauts completed another objective of their current mission aboard their spacecraft, Shenzhou-9, when they completed a manual docking maneuver with the orbital module Tiangong-1 around 0450 UTC Sunday (9:50 PM Saturday night Phoenix time).
Several hours prior to this, the crew set Tiangong-1 for independent flight in case an emergency was encountered. Then commander Jing Haipeng and the other two crew, Liu Wang and Liu Yang, entered the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft, donned their flight suits and performed an automated undocking.
This was followed by backing away to 400 meters. The crew then closed to 140 meters and the two vehicles maintained their positions while the ground control evaluated the data. Approval was given for the manual approach controlled by Liu Wang. The spacecraft approached to within 30 meters for a short hold.
Finally closing at 0.4 meters per second, Shenzhou-9 completed the docking procedure.
With this objective completed, the taikonauts will continue their testing of the orbital module, and medical and physiological tests and exercises.
They are scheduled to return to Earth on Friday, 29 June.