More than 40 hours after lift-off, the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft has docked with the Tiangong-2 space lab. Astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong have moved into what will be their home in space for the next month.
Moving in for their first kiss. The Shenzhou-11 spacecraft is being closely monitored by ground staff. They've changed its orbit five times, preparing for the automatic docking system to kick in.
"During the docking process, a series of crucial events occurred in real time and our system need to respond and act precisely and rapidly. I am very gland that our system has completed all the tasks perfectly," said Cui Xiaofeng, assistant chief engineer of Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
The astronauts float into the Tiangong-2 space lab. Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong will spend 30 days on scientific research, technical tests, and maintenance tasks.
A short break after docking, but more work remains for the control center. They'll monitor the astronauts' vital signs and give them instructions. While the astronauts do have working manuals, they still need reminders from the ground.
This is the first docking with the Tiangong-2 since it went into orbit last month.
The Shenzhou-11 blasted off at the Jiuquan Launch Center on Monday.
China plans to conduct such manned space missions on a regular basis. Spacecraft will be launched several times a year, instead of once every several years.