Chinese astronauts enter space station following docking

Chinese astronauts enter space station following docking

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Beijing — China says a pair of astronauts have entered the country’s orbiting space station for a month-long stay.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft that blasted off Monday morning docked early Wednesday with the Tiangong 2 station.It said veteran mission commander Jing Haipeng opened the hatch and entered the station that was launched last month, followed by astronaut Chen Dong, who is making his first journey into space.
The 30-day mission is China’s longest and most ambitious to date, displaying the growing sophistication of the country’s manned program that first launched a human into space 13 years ago.
The Tiangong 2 module is a precursor to a larger space station that will become fully functioning six years from now.
“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. The Shenzhou 11 spacecraft that blasted off Monday morning docked with the Tiangong 2 station using an automated maneuver worked out during missions to an earlier experimental station. Having changed from his space suit into blue overalls, veteran mission commander Jing Haipeng opened the hatch and entered the station shortly after 6 a.m. Beijing time (2200 GMT), followed by astronaut Chen Dong, who is making his first journey into space,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

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