Shenzhou-11 Docks With Tiangong-2

©CCTV

Docking target

China's Shenzhou-11 has docked with the Tiangong-2 Space Station.


After completing a series of systems checks astronauts, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong will enter Tiangong-2 to begin their one month mission.

Next spring an automated cargo vehicle will resupply Tiangong-2 in advance of future astronaut visits. Tiangong-2 was launched on 15 September 2016. It is in the same 393 kilometer high orbit that China's third space station will occupy beginning in 2020.

Tiangong-2 and its predecessor Tiangong-1 were not designed as permanent space stations but rather serve as testbeds for China's third, larger space station. That permanent station will have a configuration reminiscent of Russia's Mir space station.

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