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Chinese astronauts dock with space lab

NEW FRONTIER Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong wave to the camera after entering China's space lab Tiangong 2 from the manned spacecraft Shenzhou 11.
NEW FRONTIER Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong wave to the camera after entering China's space lab Tiangong 2 from the manned spacecraft Shenzhou 11. An xin

CHINA as become the third country after the United States and Russia to complete rendezvous and docking procedures with a space lab.

China's Shenzhou 11 manned spacecraft has successfully docked with China's Tiangong 2 space lab and two astronauts have entered the lab, China's official news agency Xinhua reported.

According to the mission schedule, the astronauts will remain in the space station for 30 days and spend a total of 33 days in space, making the mission the longest in space so far for China.

In a manned space mission in 2013, three Chinese astronauts spent 15 days in orbit.

Advancing China's space program is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power.

The United States Defence Department has highlighted China's increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed at preventing other nations using space-based assets in a crisis.



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