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Undock, Redock

China takes another step forward in space station operations

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tiangong redock

Inside mission control. (Photo: Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)

China’s Shenzhou 8 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 mini-space station separated briefly in orbit today, then reunited, in another demonstration of docking techniques for future space stations.

This animation calls it a “kiss in space,” although somehow I can’t imagine that term being used for NASA’s Gemini 8 docking in 1966. Maybe it was because there were astronauts onboard.

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