The successful launch of Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou 8
The success of the China's first mission of space docking between the target orbiter Tiangong-1 and the Shenzhou 8.[Photo/China.org.cn]
Shenzhou-8, an unmanned spacecraft launched on Nov. 1 and safely returned to earth on Nov. 17, marked the full success of China's first space docking mission joining the unmanned spacecraft with the target module Tiangong-1, which was launched on Sept. 29.
Tiangong-1 entered into long-term operation management in space on Nov. 18, and is preparing for two more docking missions planned for 2012.
China plans to establish its own space lab around 2016 and a manned space station around 2020.
• Full coverage: China's First Space Lab