China's Shenzhou-9 carrying the first female astronaut into space has successfully docked with the Tiangong-1 space lab.

The docking of the spacecraft, launched on Saturday, occurred around 14:00 Beijing time (07:00 BST) in space.

China becomes the third country after Russia and the US in successful space docking.

The astronaut team of three including a woman will fly around the earth in the space lab for the next two weeks at around 7 km per second. They are expected to enter the space lab a few hours after the docking.

Many experiments are being scheduled during the flight including medical tests on the human body.

Shenzhou-9 took 33-year old woman Liu Yang along with the Commander Jing Haipeng, 46 and a flight engineer Liu Wang, 42.

Shenzhou-9 weighs around 8,000 kg and it is around 9.20 metres long. The spacecraft is equipped with navigation, communications, flight control, thermal control, batteries, oxygen tanks, and propulsion systems. This is China's fourth manned-mission to space.

This is reportedly the second stage of the Chinese operations where the aim is to build an independent space station in 2020.

Although China is far ahead compared to other countries in space technology, it is yet to catch up with US and Russian technology.