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Shenzhou 8: Photos From China's 1st Space Docking Mission

Shenzhou 8 Lifts Off

China Manned Space Engineering Office

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.

Tiangong-1-Shenzhou-8 Docking

CNTV/CCTV

Chinese TV shows the Tiangong 1 module docking with the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft Nov. 2, 2011.

Shenzhou 8 Launch

China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology

China's Shenzhou 8 rocket lifts off on October 31, 2011.

View of Tiangong 1 From Shenzhou 8

CCTV

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

CNTV/CCTV

Chinese Mission Controllers watch as the Tiangong 1 spacecraft makes the country's first docking maneuver with Shenzhou 8.

China Space Program Chief Commander

CNTV/CCTV

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

China Central Television

Video still showing China's Shenzhou 8 spacecraft docked with the Tiangong 1 lab module on Nov. 3, 2011.

Shenzhou 8 Launch

CCTV

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

CCTV

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

DLR

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

China Manned Space Engineering Office

Photo of the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft undergoing testing earlier in 2011.

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