China Celebrates First Successful Space Docking, Space Station Up Next | Talking Points Memo

China celebrated its first successful space docking on Thursday morning, a milestone in the history of human spaceflight and a critical step in the country’s ambitious plans to build its own independent space station by the early 2020s, the same decade the International Space Station is set to begin decommissioning.The automated unmanned docking was overseen remotely from the ground by China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSE), occurred at 1:36 am when the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft docked with the Tiangong-1 module some 213 miles above Earth, China state news outlet Xinhua reported, later saying all systems on both craft were functioning properly.

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