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
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 0621 GMT (1421 HKT)
For the families of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the wait for news is agonizing.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 0835 GMT (1635 HKT)
China plans to hold special courses to train government leaders in ways of managing online public opinion, according to a report in state-run media.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 0430 GMT (1230 HKT)
Is China a land of opportunities, or land of anger and despair? Tao Xie weighs in.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 0204 GMT (1004 HKT)
Just call it the Fake Leap Forward: Hong Kongers dressed in Mao suits to protest increasing mainland Chinese influence in their city.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 0719 GMT (1519 HKT)
For some local Hong Kongers, the local economy is being geared to the needs of cashed-up Chinese day-trippers, rather than locals.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1027 GMT (1827 HKT)
Vladimir Putin is seeking China's support in Russia's standoff with Western powers over Ukraine.
March 8, 2014 -- Updated 0559 GMT (1359 HKT)
Despite the country's improving economy, women in China still face rampant discrimination.
February 27, 2014 -- Updated 0824 GMT (1624 HKT)
What's the story with WeChat, the messaging app taking China by storm?
As China's annual parliamentary meetings kick off, Beijing gauges progress on key economic reforms outlined last year.
February 28, 2014 -- Updated 0501 GMT (1301 HKT)
Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke speaks to CNN about his time in China.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 0449 GMT (1249 HKT)
Limited investment options in China means real estate has been a popular choice for consumers looking to expand their portfolios.
February 27, 2014 -- Updated 0140 GMT (0940 HKT)
It's sexy, sophisticated, skintight, and started as a Chinese feminist statement. Here's the story of China's "cheongsam"
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT)
Linkedin, the networking site for professionals, has done what few other foreign online services have achieved -- it has successfully set up its China operations.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 0408 GMT (1208 HKT)
With its tradition of free speech, Hong Kongers pride themselves on their strong opinions -- but now local journalists say they are being shut up.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1019 GMT (1819 HKT)
Beijingers are once again choking as smog levels hit "heavy or even worse" levels in the capital and other cities across the country.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 1349 GMT (2149 HKT)
China has urged U.S. President Barack Obama to call off a meeting at the White House with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT)
Far from being censored, the U.S. political drama 'House of Cards' is widely available in China -- and surprisingly popular.
Today's five most popular stories