Shenzhou 8 Lifts Off
Launch of Shenzhou 8 on October 31, 2011, was successful. According to the orbit calculation, the Shenzhou 8 spaceship has entered its operating orbit with a perigee height of 200 km and apogee height of 329 km. The obliquity of the orbit is 42 degrees, and the orbiting cycle is 5379 seconds.
Chinese TV shows the Tiangong 1 module docking with the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft Nov. 2, 2011.
Shenzhou 8 Launch
China's Shenzhou 8 rocket lifts off on October 31, 2011.
View of Tiangong 1 From Shenzhou 8
A view of China's Tiangong 1 space lab module taken by the approaching Shenzhou 8 spacecraft, just minutes before the two vessels docked in Earth orbit.
Chinese Mission Control
Chinese Mission Controllers watch as the Tiangong 1 spacecraft makes the country's first docking maneuver with Shenzhou 8.
China Space Program Chief Commander
Chang Wanquan, the chief commander of the China Manned Space Engineering Project, addressed Chinese mission control after the country's successful first space docking.
Tiangong 1 and Shenzhou 8 Docked in Space
Video still showing China's Shenzhou 8 spacecraft docked with the Tiangong 1 lab module on Nov. 3, 2011.
Shenzhou 8 Launch
China's unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft launches on Oct. 31, 2011, on a mission to dock with the prototype space module Tiangong 1.
Shenzhou 8 Launch — Rocket Close-up
China's Shenzhou 8 spacecraft launched into Earth orbit on Oct. 31, 2011 atop a Long March 2F rocket. This close-up shot shows the rocket in action, shortly after liftoff.
China's Long March 2F Rocket
The Chinese Long March 2F rocket due to carry the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft to orbit in November 2011 rolls to the launch pad in Mongolia.
Shenzhou 8 Spacecraft Undergoing Testing
Photo of the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft undergoing testing earlier in 2011.