China plans to perform its first manned space docking operation this year, with the Shenzhou 9 capsule and three crew members due to be launched between June and August. Following what national space contractor CAST calls the thoroughly successful Shenzhou 8 unmanned and automated docking trial last year, the Shenzhou 9 crew will use manual control to join their craft. “Astronauts will enter and stay in Tiangong 1, carrying out space science experiments,” CAST says, citing a ...


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