Historic Chinese space mission docks successfully
June 18, 2012 -- Updated 0929 GMT (1729 HKT)
- China's Shenzhou-9 spacecraft successfully docked with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab
- China is now the third country to complete a manned space docking
- The mission also saw the country's first female astronaut go into space
(CNN) -- China's Shenzhou-9 spacecraft successfully docked with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space laboratory on Monday, completing the next step in the country's ambitious space mission.
This makes China the third country to complete a manned space docking, following the United States and Russia. The mission, which began on Saturday, also saw the country's first female astronaut go into space.
The three-person crew will stay in the space lab to conduct "scientific experiments, technical tests, and physical exercises," according to official state news agency, Xinhua.
China makes space history
Tiangong-1, a prototype for a full-fledged space station, was launched into space in September. The unmanned Shenzhou-8 successfully docked there two months later, in China's first space docking.
China has made rapid, steady strides in developing its space program over the last decade, such as sending its first astronaut into space, completing its first spacewalk, and launching two lunar orbiters.
The latest docking mission was one of the goals included in a government white paper issued in December, which outlined an ambitious five-year space exploration plan.
CNN's Tian Shao contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0125 GMT (0925 HKT)
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism that it stifles democracy.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1914 GMT (0314 HKT)
China warns the United States to end its military surveillance flights near Chinese territory.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0312 GMT (1112 HKT)
China has produced elite national athletes but some argue the emphasis on winning discourages children. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0513 GMT (1313 HKT)
Chinese are turning to overseas personal shoppers to get their hands on luxury goods at lower prices.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 0908 GMT (1708 HKT)
Experts say rapidly rising numbers of Christians are making it harder for authorities to control the religion's spread.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 0452 GMT (1252 HKT)
"I'm proud of their moral standing," says Harvey Humphrey. His parents are accused of corporate crimes in China.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 1942 GMT (0342 HKT)
A TV confession detailing a life of illegal gambling and paid-for sex has capped the dramatic fall of one of China's most high-profile social media celebrities.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0410 GMT (1210 HKT)
President Xi Jinping's campaign to punish corrupt Chinese officials has snared its biggest target -- where can the campaign go from here?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 0712 GMT (1512 HKT)
All you need to know about the tainted meat produce that affects fast food restaurants across China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0230 GMT (1030 HKT)
Some savvy individuals in China are claiming naming rights to valuable foreign brands. Here's how companies can combat them.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT)
Is the Chinese president a true reformist or merely a "dictator" in disguise? CNN's Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz dissects the leader's policies
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 0344 GMT (1144 HKT)
With a population of 1.3 billion, you'd think that there would be 11 people in China who are good enough to put up a fight on the football pitch.
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, may not yet be a household name outside of China, but that could be about to change.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 2357 GMT (0757 HKT)
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 0656 GMT (1456 HKT)
The push for democratic reform in Hong Kong is testing China's "one country, two systems" model.
Today's five most popular stories