A Chinese spacecraft carrying three astronauts carried out a manual docking with an orbiting module on Sunday, a first for the country as it strives to match American and Russian exploits in space.
The Shenzhou 9 capsule completed the maneuver with the Tiangong 1 module shortly before 1 p.m. (0500 GMT). The docking was shown live on national television. It follows a docking last week that was carried out by remote control from a ground base in China.
The Chinese astronauts have been living and working in the module for the past week as part of preparations for manning a permanent space station. They returned to the Shenzhou 9 capsule early Sunday and disconnected in preparation for the manual re-connection.