Shenzhou 8

Shenzhou 8 (Chinese: 神舟八号) was an unmanned flight of China's Shenzhou program, launched on October 31, 2011 UTC, or November 1 in China, by a modified Long March 2F (CZ-2F) rocket which lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

The Shenzhou 8 spacecraft was automatically docked with the Tiangong 1 space module (launched on 29 September 2011) on November 3 and again on November 14, 2011. This unmanned docking—China's first—was followed in 2012 with the manned Shenzhou 9 mission, which performed a manned docking (also China's first) with the Tiangong 1 module. Only the Soviet Union (Russia), Japan and the European Space Agency had achieved automatic rendezvous and docking prior to China's accomplishment.

Read more about Shenzhou 8:  History, Mission, Final Shenzhou Spacecraft Design, See Also