Shenzhou-8 Second Space Docking a Success
Reports from the Chinese space mission control center showed that the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft was able to dock with Tiangong-1 successfully yesterday. The unmanned spacecraft was launched on November 1st and was scheduled to dock with Tiangong-1 on November 3 but due to malfunctions, the docking was cancelled.
After doing tests and check ups and mission control were able to fix the malfunctions, the spacecraft proceeded with the second docking, which ended and marked China’s first successful space docking. The spacecraft docking mechanism is composed of 10,000 parts and more than 600 instruments on board the Shenzhou-8 were all made and developed in China.
The unmanned spacecraft is scheduled to return to Earth on Thursday, when the Chinese space craft will be scheduled to be used in two more space docking missions in 2012. China is also planning to establish their own space laboratory by 2016 and a manned space station by 2020.