This is a post by VanessaG for the Young Astronomers
Another Historic day for China performing their first unmanned docking with Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou 8 on Tuesday (Nov 2). This was the first docking ever performed by the nation and was hailed as a “complete sucesss” by the leaders of the mission.
Tiangong-1 has been in orbit for a month now and Shenzhou was only launched last Monday on board CZ-2F from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. Tiangong-1 slowed to an orbit of 7.8Km/s to allow for the docking over China.
The docking inspired love poems based on the folklore story of the story of the cowherd and the weaver girl who are puinished by the Goddess of heaven and can only meet in the sky once a year by crossing a bridge formed by magpies, mythology and folklore expert An Deming told Xinhua, a state-owned news agency.
“Tiangong, my lover, for the arrival of this moment — wait for me. I’m coming,” reads a poem called “Lovers’ Talk,” published in Tianfu Zaobao, a Sichuan-based daily.
The two will stay ‘kissing’ for 8 days then separate. Shenzhou will return 2 days after that and the results of the onboard experiments from China and Germany can be analysed.
China will be launching two more missions to Tiangong next year, Shenzhou 9 &10. It has been confirmed that at least one of these will be manned and may contain the country’s first female taikinaut.
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