Feeds

Chinese 'nauts reach Heaven after 8-minute coupling

Three taikonauts safely aboard Tiangong-1 after spaceship docking

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Three Chinese astronauts floated into the Tiangong-1 lab module just after 11am BST, after the first docking of a manned spacecraft this morning.

The taikonauts aboard the Shenzhou-9 spaceship made their way onto Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace, around three hours after completing the automatic docking, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The berthing procedure started at 5am BST this morning with the Shenzhou-9 at 52km away from the Heavenly Palace. The craft then drifted slowly over to its lab partner before making first contact at 7.07am. The docking was done and dusted in less than eight minutes.

The two male taikonauts and one female floated into the Tiangong-1 ahead of schedule to become the first tenants of the 15 cubic metre (530ft3) cabin. The first to enter was Jing Haipeng, followed by Liu Wang and Liu Yang, according to the Xinhua report.

China had already managed an unmanned docking with the Heavenly Palace and a manned spacecraft in space, but this is the first time taikonauts have been aboard for the docking and gone onto the lab module, the first building block of China's proposed space station.

It is also the first time that China has sent a woman into space. Liu Yang, a 33-year-old major in the People's Liberation Army as well as a member of the Communist Party of China joined commanding officer Jing Haipeng and astronaut Liu Wang on the mission.

China wants to build its very own space station by 2020, which is likely to be when the International Space Station goes into retirement. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.