Chinese spacecraft docks with orbiting module

The Associated Press /

Published Jun 25, 2012 at 05:00AM

BEIJING — A Chinese spacecraft carrying three astronauts docked manually with an orbiting module on Sunday, a first for the country as it strives to match American and Russian exploits in space.

The Shenzhou 9 capsule’s maneuver with the Tiangong 1 module was shown live on national television. It follows a docking last week that was carried out by remote control from a ground base in China.

The Chinese astronauts have been living and working in the module for the past week as part of preparations for manning a permanent space station. They returned to the Shenzhou 9 capsule early Sunday and disconnected in preparation for the manual reconnection.

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