Life in space
Sept 15: China launches Tiangong II, the country’s latest space lab.
Oct 19: The Shenzhou XI spacecraft docks with Tiangong II. Astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong begin a 30-day mission aboard the space station.
Oct 20: Jing describes life aboard Tiangong II in his journal, writing that he and Chen were too busy to eat a decent meal early on the first day of the mission: “We had mostly snacks for breakfast and lunch. We plan to have a big dinner, with noodles and rice.”
Oct 24: Jing spends his 50th birthday in space and receives greetings fromthe staff at the base on Earth.
Oct 27: Silkworms carried for experiments begin making a cocoon in the lab.
Nov4: Jing and Chen brew green and black teas using tea bags specially designed towork in a zerogravity environment. It is the first time Chinese astronauts have made tea inspace,
Nov 8: Chen details the work routine in the lab via a column for Xinhua News Agency, where he is credited as the agency’s “space correspondent”.
Nov 11: Jing provides insights into an experiment to grow lettuce in zero-gravity conditions.
Nov 18: Jing and Chen return to Earth. They land in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region after the month-long mission, the longest period Chinese astronauts have spent in space.