We all know about the International Space Station (ISS). Many people have watched as it flies overhead as a brilliant point of light moving across the sky.
But now it is no longer the only space station in the sky. On 29 September 2011 China launched its own space station known as Tiangong (“Heavenly Palace”). It’s not as bright as the ISS and thus less noticeable to most observers.
Then, on 01 November 2011, China launched the Shenzhou-8, an unmanned spacecraft designed to dock with Tiangong. And early on the morning of 02 November 2011, both spacecraft passed overhead cutting through the constellation Orion. Just a few hours later, Shenzou-8 successfully docked with Tiangong.
The dual spacecraft flyby is reminiscent of the ISS-Shuttle flybys.