BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- China's Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship has successfully docked with the space station core module Tianhe on Thursday, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).
The spaceship, launched on Thursday morning, completed orbital status setting after entering the orbit and conducted a fast autonomous rendezvous and docking with the front docking port of Tianhe at 3:54 p.m. (Beijing Time), forming a three-module complex with the cargo craft Tianzhou-2.
The whole process took approximately 6.5 hours.
This is Tianhe's first rendezvous and docking with a Shenzhou spaceship since it was sent into orbit on April 29.
The spaceship, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gobi Desert at 9:22 a.m. (Beijing Time).
Three astronauts aboard Shenzhou-12 -- Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo -- will then enter the Tianhe module, according to the mission plan.
China launched Tianzhou-2 on May 29, and the cargo craft docked with Tianhe on May 30.