Shenzhou-11 Is In Orbit

©CCTV

Shenzhou-11 Launch

China placed the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft with two astronauts aboard into orbit today.

The launch happened exactly on time at 7:30 am local time at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Shenzhou-11 is in its planned orbit and will dock with China's second space station Tiangong-2 on Tuesday. The two astronauts will remain onboard Tiangong-2 for a month.

The mission is commanded by Jing Haipeng who flew on Shenzhou-7 in 2008 and Shenzhou-9 in 2012. Flight engineer Chen Dong is making his first trip into space.

Tiangong-2 is expected to remain operational until such time as China begins operations aboard its third space station in 2020. China's first space station, Tiangong-1, is no longer operational and is expected to re-enter in the near future.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.