On Monday, China launched the unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft on a mission to latch onto China's Tiangong-1 module, which has been orbiting Earth since late September. Today, Shenzhou 8 successfully completed its docking, a major step for China in its efforts to build its own manned space station, akin to the International Space Station. The above picture from the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center shows the two spacecraft just before the successful attachment, the Tiangong-1 module in the upper-left corner, Shenzhou 8 in the upper-right, and, at the bottom, an illustration of the process.
Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Family and Education sections. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.