|Shenzhou-8 re-docks with Tiangong-1|
About half an hour before the re-docking, Shenzhou-8 had disengaged from Tiangong-1 after a 12-day flight together.
Shenzhou-8, launched on November 1, rendezvoused and docked with the target orbiter Tiangong-1 on November
The Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC), which commanded the Shenzhou-8 mission, called the re-docking a success, during which functions of the measuring equipment and docking mechanism were tested in solar light.
Following the re-docking, the coupled spacecraft will fly together for two more days before the scheduled return of Shenzhou-8 to earth, Wu Ping, spokeswoman for the manned space program, said earlier.
The BACC said Monday that after the successful docking tests, the center will further modify the parameters of the orbit for Shenzhou-8 to return based on data collected through close monitoring over the procedures.
Prior to its return, Shenzhou-8 will re-disengage from Tiangong-1 and fly alone for a period of time, instead of immediately returning to earth, Li Jian, deputy chief engineer of BACC, said.
"Acquisition of the space docking technology is vital to
Another two docking missions with Tiangong-1 have been planned next year, and at least one will be manned, Wu said.