World Bulletin / News Desk
China completed its first-ever manual docking between a manned spacecraft and an orbiting lab module on Sunday, putting it a step closer in an ambitious campaign to build a space station.
The Shenzhou 9 and its three-person crew, including the country's first woman in Space Liu Yang, separated about 400 metres from the Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) 1 module for about two minutes before re-connecting under the manual control of the astronauts, with state television covering the event live.
Rendezvous and docking exercises between the two vessels are an important hurdle in China's efforts to acquire the technological and logistical skills to run a full space lab that can house astronauts for long periods.
The Shenzhou 9 had already conducted an automated docking with Tiangong 1, on June 18, a day after it blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Compared with an automated docking, manual docking is more challenging in terms of orbit control, said Xie Jianfeng, a space scientist with the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, told China's official Xinhua news agency on Saturday.
The system is said to be able to suck in air from a 300-metre radius and from up to seven kilometres (over four miles) upwards.
Would create new distribution, content creation giant, if approved by regulators
Waves of cyberattacks disrupt services for many East Coast US Internet users
Critics slam company after claims it allowed NSA to scan all users’ emails
Shenzhou-11 to take 2 astronauts into space, dock with orbiting space lab Tiangong-2 within 2 days
A German politician has said Facebook should pay for failing to remove online hate comment
For the first time in over 120 years, a design patent case will be heard by the US supreme court.
Toyota is usually associated with cars, but it has been investing millions in robotics and Kirobo is its first commercial foray into the sector.
A joint Mongolian-Japanese expedition found the giant print, which measures 106 centimetres (42 inches) long and 77 centimetres wide.
Current conditions may ‘commit Earth to an eventual total warming of 5 degrees Celsius’ in few thousand years, author says
Cyber-attack in 2014 likely the largest data breach in history
Photographs, videos, polls, quoted tweets no longer count toward 140-character limit
2.5 million phones recalled days before Apple introduces iPhone 7
Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to continue effort to provide satellite for Africa
3.7-billion-year-old rock suggests life began soon after Earth’s formation
Facebook will target advertising to Whatsapp users but will steer clear of third party advertising content