On November 2, 2011 at 17:28 UTC two Chinese spacecraft accomplished the country's first space docking procedure. The Chinese"Shenzhou-8” unmanned spacecraft docked with the "Tiangong-1” space lab module at 01:28 a.m. Beijing time on November 3, 2011 marking another great leap for China's space program.
The success of the docking procedure makes China the third country in the world, after the United States and Russia, to master the technique, moving the country one step closer to establishing its own space station.
President of China Hu Jintao, who was in France for the G-20 summit, sent a congratulatory message on the success of the country's first-ever space docking.
On November 2, 2011 at 11:41 UTC the Russian "Progress M-13M” docked with the International Space Station. The spacecraft linked up to the station's "Pirs” module. The spacecraft delivered more than 2600 kilograms of cargo, including oxygen, water, food and medical equipment, to the International Space Station. Aboard the spacecraft there were several letters addressed to the ISS crew members.
On November 1, 2011 at 05:58 Beijing time (on October 31 at 21:58 UTC) China launched the "Shenzhou-8” unmanned spacecraft in the country’s first ever attempt to dock two space vehicles.
The "Chang Zheng-2F” ("Long March-2F”) rocket carrying "Shenzhou-8” lifted off from the Jiuquan space center in the Gobi Desert in northwestern China's Inner Mongolia province.
The spacecraft is heading for rendezvous with the "Tiangong-1” ("the Heavenly Palace") space lab module that was put into space on September 29 for the country's first space docking. The "Shenzhou-8” is expected to
... Read more »
On October 30, 2011 at 10:11 UTC the Russian Progress M-13M unmanned supply spacecraft was successfully launched from Baykonur Cosmodrome.
It was orbited by the "Soyuz-U” rocket-carrier. Two months after a rare Russian launch failure, an unmanned Progress cargo ship loaded with more than 2600 kilograms of supplies and equipment bound for the International Space Station rocketed smoothly into orbit Sunday, clearing the way for the resumption of manned Soyuz flights next month.
The Progress M-13M is to dock with the ISS on November 2, 2011.
On October 29, 2011 at 09:04 UTC the Progress M-10M unmanned supply spacecraft was undocked from the International Space Station.
At the same day at 16:10 UTC the space vehicle’s engines were started for deorbiting. The Progress M-10M entered the atmosphere and burnt down over the Pacific. Remaining parts of the Progress, not burnt during the reentry fell down into the south area of the Pacific at about 17:00 UTC.
On September 29, 2011 at 13:16 UTC the "Chang Zheng-2FT” (Long March) rocket-carrier was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province.
The rocket orbited the "Tiangong-1”unmanned space lab module.
The launch paves the way for China's first rendezvous and docking mission. An unmanned Shenzhou-8 spaceship will be launched in November to dock with Tiangong-1. The 8.5-tone module will remain in the orbit for two years, operating mainly in an unmanned regime. It is also capable of carrying up to three astronauts for 20 days.
On September 16, 2011 at 03:59 UTC the "Soyuz TMA-21” spacecraft carrying ISS crewmembers Aleksandr Samokutyayev, Andrei Borisenko and Ronald Garan landed at a designated area in Kazakhstan at a distance of 149 kilometers from the city of Dzhezkazgan.
The return was originally set for September 8, but the failed launch of a Progress space freighter on August 24 forced the rescheduling.
A special search group opened the hatch to the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft and reported that all three crewm
... Read more »
On September 16, 2011 at 00:38 UTC the "Soyuz TMA-21” manned spacecraft undocked from the ISS. The crew consisted of two Russian cosmonauts, Aleksandr Samokutyayev and Andrei Borisenko, and American astronaut Ronald Garan is to land at about 04:00 UTC.
The Soyuz TMA- 21 spacecraft departs from the International Space Station and heads toward a landing in a remote area outside the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan (photo NASA).
On September 01, 2011 the "Progress M-11M” unmanned supply spacecraft was deorbited. It’s engine was started for deorbiting at 09:34 UTC and then at 10:21 UTC the spacecraft’s debris drowned in the remote area of the Pacific.