Chinese Astronauts Enter Space Station Module

Posted June 18th, 2012 at 5:50 am (UTC-5)
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Three Chinese astronauts boarded an experimental space module Monday, in the latest step toward Beijing's effort to build a permanent space station.

The Shenzhou 9 and its three-person crew, including China's first woman in space, linked with the Tiangong 1 module just after 0600 UTC.

The three will spend nearly two weeks performing experiments in the module before returning to Earth.

The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in China's northwest on Saturday.

China's last manned space mission took place in September of 2009.