China’s first manual space docking successful

Three Chinese astronauts Sunday successfully completed a manual docking between Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module on June 24, 2012, the first such attempt in China’s history of space exploration.

The Chinese astronauts celebrating on the success of the manual docking between Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 lab module. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)

The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 lab module being conjoined again.

Manual docking between Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 lab module being conducted.

The screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center showing the manual docking between Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 lab module being conducted.

Manual docking between Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 lab module being conducted.

Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft conducting the country’s first manual space docking with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab. The manual docking has been successful Sunday. It means China has completely grasped the space rendezvous and docking technologies and had the fundamental abilities to build a space station.(Xinhua/Wang Yongzhuo)

The docking ring of the manned Shenzhou-9 spacecraft touching the Tiangong-1 lab module successfully under the manual control of Chinese astronauts.