According to official media reports, China has taken a key step in achieving its ambition to set up a manned space station on Thursday, completing its first successful high-altitude docking.
Shenzhou 8 spacecraft joins the Tiangong-
An experimental module at 1737 GMT, silently coupled for more than 343 kilometers (213 miles)
Xinhua said on the surface of the Earth.
The ship's name, translated into "sacred spacecraft", is an improved version of the capsule that sent the first Chinese astronaut into space, part of an ambitious exploration plan by emerging forces.
China's goal is to complete the construction of the space station by 2020, which requires China to improve docking technology. -
The Russians and Americans successfully completed a subtle move in the 1960 s.
The technology is difficult to master because the two ships placed in the same orbit and rotated around the Earth at a high speed must gradually gather together to avoid mutual destruction.
China sees its space program as a symbol of its global status, its growing technical expertise, and the Communist Party's success in reversing the fate of poverty --Affected countries
Chinese leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabao, watched the live broadcast of the docking at the Beijing Aerospace flight control center, while President Hu Jintao, who is attending the G20 summit in France, sent a congratulatory letter.
The breakthrough and acquisition of space docking technology
The phased development strategy of China's manned space industry . "
The docking time is 8 minutes, and the auxiliary equipment includes microwave radar, laser length meter and camera.
The two ships, weighing about 8 tons each, were successfully captured, buffered, connected and locked, Xinhua reported.
The "needle in a haystack" connects two vehicles traveling at 7: 00.
The orbit is 8 km kilometers per second and the error is no more than 20 cm, as "needle in a haystack," said Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China's manned space program.
"This will make it possible for China to explore space on a larger scale.
"China now has the technology and capability to build a space station, he said, adding that the Shenzhou 8 could be used as a prototype for a series of spaceships.
Xinhua said China plans to carry out more than 20 manned space flights over the next decade.
A Chinese astronaut coach is one of six volunteers who will come to the outside world on Friday after being isolated for nearly 18 months at a research center in Russia, to test the flight to Mars.
After buying Russian technology, China began its manned space program in 1990 and became the third country to send humans into space after the former Soviet Union and the United States in 2003.
On September 2008, Shenzhou VII, which was driven by three astronauts, made China's first spacewalk.
The Shenzhou 8 spacecraft took off from Jiuquan base in Gansu province on Tuesday, Tiangong-1 -
Or "Tiangong "-
Also launched in September 29.
Wu Ping, a spokeswoman for China's manned space program, said the two ships would stay in touch for about 12 days before separating and joining again later.
If the mission is successful, China will launch two more ships next year to dock with Tiangong. 1 --
Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10-
At least one of them is someone.
Two women are training astronauts for the mission, Xinhua said.
If they were chosen, they would be the first woman in China to be sent into space.
To prepare for a manned flight, two lives
Shenzhou 8 has put the size of the dummy.
Electronic data will be transmitted back to Earth to help researchers assess the impact of Flight on human breathing, temperature and blood pressure.
Researchers in China and Germany are also using the spacecraft for joint experiments in life sciences and weightlessness, the first time another country has a chance to enter China's manned space program.
China plans to launch a space lab by 2016 and hopes to have one in orbit that will accommodate the long term
Officials say the space term will remain around 2020.