For The First Time, Astronauts Have Entered China's Orbiting Space Station
Updated: Jun 24, 2021
The first astronauts arrived at China's new space station on Thursday in the country's longest crewed mission to date, a landmark step in establishing Beijing as a major space power.
The trio blasted off on a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan launch centre in northwest China's Gobi desert, and their craft docked around seven hours later at the Tiangong station, where they will spend the next three months.
State broadcaster CCTV showed a live feed from inside the spacecraft during the journey, with the three astronauts lifting their helmet visors after it reached orbit as one smiled and waved at the camera.
Another floated a pen just off his lap in zero gravity, as he browsed the flight manual.
The Shenzhou-12 spacecraft - having separated from the Long March rocket - "successfully docked with the forward port of the core module" of the Tiangong station, said the China Manned Space Agency, as state TV showed live footage.
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