Three Chinese astronauts on Shenzhou 12 arrived at the new space station

China has successfully launched the Shenzhou 12 spacecraft with 3 astronauts to begin the installation of the Tiankang Permanent Space Station (Sky Palace). Over the next two years, 11 launch sites are expected, four of which will be operational

Chinese astronauts (left) Tang Hongpo, Ni Heisheng and Liu Booming were the first crew of China's space station.  Photo: Xinhua
Chinese astronauts (left) Tang Hongpo, Ni Heisheng and Liu Booming were the first crew of China’s space station. Photo: Xinhua

China successfully launched three astronauts into space on Thursday on its first manned mission to its space station, Tiangong (Star Palace). The component, which has already been launched into space on the drone, is a key component of the space station.

The Shenzhou 12 spacecraft was launched aboard the Long March Launcher – F2 on Thursday (17/6/2021) morning from the Jiuzhou Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. Six-and-a-half hours after launch, the spacecraft arrived in the core constituency, state media agency CGDN reported. The new team will be on track for three months, during which they will test the life support system and do maintenance work.

Five years after the launch of humans – four of which are expected by the end of 2022

Shenzhou 12 was the first of 11 missiles designed to build China’s space station. This is China’s first human mission since 2016. In three months at this station, two astronauts will do two long astronaut walks. A further three-man spacecraft and two unmanned laboratory units will then be sent to the space station, with construction expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Huang Weipan, one of the chief planners of the unmanned space program, said the crew would use the new space suit and the new spacecraft during the mission. “Since this is equipment that has not yet been tested in space conditions, there is little chance of crashes, so astronauts need to make emergency decisions and the ability to solve problems are very important requirements,” Huang said.

“We hope to see Chinese and foreign astronauts participate in joint flights in the future when the Chinese space station is completed.” Xi Xing, a senior official of the Chinese Space Agency, said at the astronauts’ presentation ceremony.

During the trip, nine projects from 17 countries were selected for testing. Xi said the space station would be a “space laboratory for the benefit of all mankind” and that China would work with the United Nations Office on Foreign Affairs (UNUSA) to announce a second round of cooperation opportunities.

“China has also received requests for joint flights with Chinese and foreign astronauts from many countries and regions,” he said.

Three team members

The day before the launch, the Chinese space agency unveiled the identities of three crew members. The leader of the team, Ni Hshang, is the oldest member of the Chinese army and a former fighter pilot.

Produced in 1988 on a space program, Ni was close to becoming China’s first man in space. He was one of three astronauts selected for the mission, but was eventually honored by Long Levy. Instead he became the first Chinese citizen to fly three times in space, breaking the residency record.

Launched on Thursday, Ni will be the third aircraft in space, after China’s first voyage with more than one astronaut in 2005 and a voyage to test its docking technology in 2013.

Liu Booming, a second-year crew member, joined China’s space mission in 2008, helping Jae-jong become the first Chinese astronaut to fly into space. It is expected to play a key role in extracurricular activities in this process

The third member of the team is less experienced. According to state media, Deng Hongpo is only one of three people who have not flown into space, despite his 11 years of training.

International Space Mission

As we have already announced, China has been expelled from the International Space Station, where more than 200 astronauts from 19 different countries have already flown. This is why China planned and started its own station. Russia, which has long donated to the International Space Station, is also set to retire from the project and is now considering its own space station, which will be launched by 2030.

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