A pair of Chinese astronauts entered the country's orbiting space station for a month-long stay early Wednesday, as China's sixth and longest crewed mission gets underway in earnest.
China has launched its second space station in a sign of the growing sophistication of its military-backed program that intends to send a mission to Mars in the coming years.
China on Sunday recovered an experimental probe launched aboard a new generation rocket, marking another milestone in its increasingly ambitious space program that envisions a mission to Mars by the end of the decade.
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 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.
China said Thursday cleaner fuel will power its next-generation rockets, which will launch heavy cargoes into space, bringing nearer plans to build a space station and put a man on the moon.
China's post office is hoping to boost business by allowing customers to send letters postmarked from space.
China completed its second space docking on Monday, state media reported, as it moves closer towards fulfilling its ambition to set up a manned space station.
China took a crucial step towards fulfilling its ambition to set up a manned space station on Thursday by completing its first successful docking in orbit high above the Earth.
China launched an unmanned spacecraft on Tuesday to carry out a key docking mission, taking its next step towards the goal of building its first space station by 2020.