According to official media, the three Chinese astronauts successfully docked with China’s new space station. This will be Beijing’s longest manned mission to date and the latest milestone for Beijing to become a major space power.
According to the official news agency Xinhua, the three men were launched from the Jiuquan Launch Center in the Gobi Desert in northwestern China shortly after midnight on Saturday (Friday, 16:00 GMT). The team is expected to spend six hours at the Tiangong space station. Months.
According to Xinhua News Agency, after the launch, the China Manned Space Administration announced a successful launch and stated that the crew was “in good physical condition.”
Xinhua News Agency said in a brief report on Saturday morning that the Shenzhou 13 spacecraft carrying three people docked with the space station’s radial port a few hours later.
This task is twice that of its 90-day predecessor and will set up equipment and test technology for the future construction of Tiangong Station.
The 55-year-old mission commander Zhai Zhigang, a former fighter pilot who conducted the country’s first spacewalk in 2008, said that the team will conduct a spacewalk that is “more complicated” than the previous mission.
The astronaut team includes 41-year-old military pilot Wang Yaping, who was the first woman to visit the space station after becoming the second woman in space in China in 2013.
The other team member is 41-year-old Chinese People’s Liberation Army pilot Ye Guangfu.
The previous record-breaking astronaut-on the Tiangong mission for the first time-returned to Earth in September after spending three months on the space station.
China’s vigorously advanced space program has allowed China to land a rover on Mars and launch a probe to the moon.
Tiangong, which means “Tiangong”, is expected to operate for at least 10 years.
Its core module entered orbit earlier this year, and the station is expected to be put into operation in 2022.
The completed space station will be similar to the Soviet Mir space station that orbited the Earth from the 1980s to 2001.
Chen Lan, an independent space analyst at GoTaikonauts, told AFP that this long-term mission aims to “expand China’s technological boundaries” and verify the capacity of the space station system when humans live longer.
“I think it’s not very challenging because China’s technology [are] Quite mature, although anything in space is always challenging,” Chen said.
The launch on Saturday was shortly after China sent its first solar exploration satellite into space, equipped with a binoculars to observe changes in the sun.
The China Space Administration plans to perform a total of 11 missions to Tiangong by the end of next year, including at least two manned launches, which will provide two laboratory modules to expand the 70-ton space station.
China’s space ambitions are due in part to the United States’ ban on Tyco astronauts on the International Space Station, a collaboration between the United States, Russia, Canada, Europe, and Japan.
The International Space Station will be decommissioned after 2024, although NASA said it may continue to operate after 2028.
The Chinese space authorities stated that they are open to foreign cooperation on the space station, although the scope of cooperation is not yet clear.
Since the launch of the first satellite in 1970, the country has made considerable progress.
It sent the first Chinese astronaut into space in 2003, and landed the Chang’e-4 robot on the back of the moon in 2019-a historic first.
In May of this year, China became the second country to land and operate a Mars rover on Mars.
Astronauts on the Tiangong space station will have independent living spaces, exercise equipment, and an e-mail and video call communication center with ground control.