Chinese Astronauts Complete Their First Manual Spacecraft Docking

CCTV Screen Grab of the Manual Docking

via Xinhua

Chinese astronauts aboard Shenzhou-9 continue to rack up milestones. The crew--which has been living and working aboard the Tiangong-1 orbiting module, China's first stab at a working space station, for a week now--returned to the Shenzhou spacecraft early Sunday, disconnected from Tiangong-1, and docked with it again manually (the spacecraft originally docked with the Tiangong module via remote control from a ground station in China).

The docking marks another significant step forward for China's space program, but it will likely be the last one for the current mission. The astronauts will spend three or four more days in the space station before returning to Earth later this week.