Two Chinese astronauts launched Oct. 17 China Standard Time in their Shenzhou 11 spacecraft. Two days later, the duo rendezvoused and docked with the one-month-old Tiangong 2 space laboratory.
Docking took place at 3:31 a.m. China Standard Time (19:31 GMT Oct. 18). A few hours later, after leak checks, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong opened hatches between the two vehicles and entered the one-room laboratory.
The two will spend a month aboard the outpost to test advanced live support systems and conduct various science experiments.
This is the second Chinese space station and the sixth flight overall from the Asian country. After the Shenzhou 11, the next flight to dock with Tiangong 2 will be the Tianzhou 1 unpiloted cargo ship. It is expected to launch in April 2017 to test autonomous fuel transfer between the two craft.