Chinas Shenzhou 11 manned spacecraft has successfully docked with the space lab, where two cosmonauts will now expend 30 days

Chinas Shenzhou 11 manned spacecraft has enabled us to docked with Chinas Tiangong 2 space lab and two cosmonauts have entered, according to Chinas official news agency Xinhua.

China is the third country after the United States and Russia to complete space rendezvous and docking procedures, Xinhua said.

A short video posted on Twitter by The Peoples Daily, presented Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong floating inside the space lab.

People's Daily, China (@ PDChina)

Astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong aboard #Shenzhou11 wave to the camera after entering space laboratory #Tiangong2 Wed morning pic.twitter.com/ 16 amW1LLm 3

October 19, 2016

According to the mission schedule, the astronauts will remain in the space station for 30 daysand expend a total of 33 days in space, inducing the mission the longest in space so far for China.

In a manned space mission in 2013, three Chinese astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with a space laboratory, the Tiangong 1.

Advancing Chinas space programme is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power.

China insists its space programme is for peaceful purposes.

Shenzhou 11, whose name translates as Divine Vessel, will also carry three experimentations designed by Hong Kong middle school students and selected in a science competitor, including one that will take silk worms into space.

The US defence department has highlighted Chinas increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed at preventing other nations utilizing space-based assets in a crisis.

China has been working to develop its space program for military, commercial and scientific intents, but is still playing catch-up to established space powers the United States and Russia.

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