Feeds

Chinese 'nauts reach Heaven after 8-minute coupling

Three taikonauts safely aboard Tiangong-1 after spaceship docking

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.