Shenzhou-9 crew members exit re-entry capsule.

  • Shenzhou-9 crew members exit re-entry capsule.

  • This screen shot taken on June 29, 2012 in the Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows the separation of the return capsule of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and its orbiting capsule. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)

  • Chinese President Hu Jintao talks with the Chinese astronauts who are conducting scientific tests in Tiangong-1 space lab module, in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)

  • Photo taken on June 26, 2012 shows a view of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center where Chinese President Hu Jintao talks with the Chinese astronauts who are conducting scientific tests in Tiangong-1 space lab module, in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)

  • TV grab taken on June 24, 2012 shows Chinese astronaut Liu Wang, assisted by his teammates Jing Haipeng and Liu Yang, controlling the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft toward the Tiangong-1 space lab module. China's first manual space docking started Sunday noon. (Xinhua)

  • Jing Haipeng, commanding officer of China's first manned space rendezvous and docking mission, opened the docking passage's front door and entered the passage assisted by his crew mates Liu Wang and Liu Yang, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.

  • The graphics shows the procedure of Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft automatic docking with Tiangong-1 space lab module on June 18, 2012. (Xinhua/Lu Zhe)

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Have Your Poll

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1.Which part of the launch of Shenzhou 9 spacecraft interests you most?
A. The interior of Shenzhou 9
B. Space docking with Tiangong 1 orbital module
C. How do astronauts live in space
D. Scientific experiments
E. Other
2.What does China’s Shenzhou 9 spacecraft mean to you?
A. It’s a potent political symbol
B. Chinese are one step closer to the moon
C. China makes progress in space science and technology
D. Other

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Highlight of Shenzhou 9 Mission more

2. Shenzhou 9 will be docked with Tiangong 1 manually by astronauts

NASA space scientist Mark Lee says the manual docking requires higher technology and skills. know more>>

4. Three major aspects of aerospace medical experimental research will be conducted on Tiangong-1 space lab module.

The first aspect is the health monitoring that mainly includes astronaut´s nutrition and metabolism, moods, and biorhythm changes in orbit...

Experts Say

3 chosen astronauts complement each other: Yang Liwei

Yang Liwei, the first Chinese man in space, has known Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang since they were selected as China´s first astronauts in 1998.

US astronauts wish Chinese peers well

As China is set to send its first female astronaut into space this weekend, American women who have made the journey will be tracking her historic trip.

China Spaceflight Dream

"Three-step" plan of China’s manned space program:

1st step: Launch of an actual manned spacecraft. (The successful flight by spacecraft Shenzhou 5 and 6)

2nd step:Break through the technical difficulties of docking two spacecraft together. (The launch of Shenzhou 7, the space station module, Tiangong 1, and the spacecraft, Shenzhou 8 through 10)

3rd step: Build Tiangong 2 and Tiangong 3 space laboratories to conduct even more advanced research.

China's Future Space Station

China´s space station is slated to open around 2020, the same year the ISS is scheduled to close. If the U.S. and its partners don´t come up with a replacement, China could have the only permanent human presence in the sky.

More Features:

1. 60-ton space station is rather small compared to the International Space Station (419 tons), and Russia´s Mir Space Station (137 tons)

2. World´s third multi-module space station, including 3 capsules.

3. A cargo spaceship to transport supplies and lab facilities to the space station

4. Carry out scientific experiments

5. Serve as stepping stone for exploration into deep space, such as launching manned missions to the moon or even Mars

6. Two or three astraunants to be on board

7. Open to scientists from foreign countries