Three Chinese astronauts on the country's longest manned space mission on Sunday succeeded in manually docking their spacecraft with a module orbiting Earth, state media said.
China was to launch its longest-ever manned space mission Tuesday, with its second woman astronaut among the crew, as it steps up its ambitious space programme, a symbol of the country's growing power.
China is to send its second woman astronaut into orbit on its longest mission yet, space officials said Monday, as the country works towards building a space station.
China on Tuesday "successfully" launched a European-made telecommunications satellite into orbit aboard a Chinese rocket, the official Xinhua news agency said.
China is aiming to launch its next manned space mission as early as June 2013, state media reported Saturday, as the country steps up its ambitious exploration programme.
China has said it will land an exploratory craft on the moon for the first time next year, as part of an ambitious space programme that includes a long-term plan to put a man on the moon.
China will deploy bigger spacecraft for longer missions following the success of its Shenzhou-9 voyage, allowing it to build a manned space station and potentially put a man on the moon, experts said.
A Chinese spacecraft with three astronauts aboard will return to Earth Friday after a nearly two-week mission that included the country's first manual docking in orbit, state media said.
China, which sent three astronauts into orbit a week ago, said they would conduct the nation's first manual space docking on Sunday -- a key step to building a space station.
China on Saturday launched its most ambitious space mission to date, sending its first female astronaut into orbit and bidding to achieve the country's first manual space docking.