Chinese Space Capsule Docks with Space Station Module

Posted June 18th, 2012 at 2:50 am (UTC-5)
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A Chinese spacecraft docked with 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. Two of the three astronauts were expected move into the space station within a few hours of docking, where they will perform scientific experiments before returning to Earth.

Beijing says the mission will last about two weeks.

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.