China blasts 3-person crew to its new space station

  • China blasts 3-person crew to its new space station

China blasts 3-person crew to its new space station

About a half-dozen adjustments will take place over the next four to six hours to line up the spaceship for docking with the Tianhe at about 4 p.m. local time, the mission's deputy chief designer, Gao Xu, told state broadcaster CCTV.

After that they will move, assemble and test extravehicular spacesuits and perform two extravehicular activities for work including assembling an extravehicular toolbox, lifting the panoramic camera and installing extended pump sets.

After climbing aboard the Tianhe module, the astronauts will spend three months living and working there, outstripping the previous 33-day record for a Chinese crewed mission held by the astronauts of the Shenzhou-11 mission in 2016.

The mission logo for the Shenzhou-12 mission that will take three Chinese astronauts to space this week.

USA legislation barring NASA from any cooperation with China means Chinese astronauts have not been to the more than two-decade-old International Space Station (ISS), visited by more than 240 men and women of various nationalities.

The mission is a matter of prestige for the Chinese government as it prepares to mark the 100th birthday of the ruling Communist Party on July 1. The two other members are also members of the military. China plans to bolt more modules onto the space station and this mission has brought another module with it.

"So the astronauts can have a good rest in space which should make them less exhausted", Gao said. A fresh three-member crew and a cargo ship with supplies will be sent in three months.

The mission will send the crew to the core module of the planned space station, called Tiangong or Heavenly Palace, which is still under construction in a low Earth orbit.

Ji Qiming, assistant director of the China Manned Space Agency, said on Wednesday that many foreign countries and regions have expressed their intention to cooperate in joint flights on board the Chinese space station.

China is not a participant in the International Space Station, largely as a result of US objections to the Chinese programs secrecy and close military ties.

China's building its own station, due to be complete by the end of 2022.

As part of its burgeoning space program, the Chinese rover Zhurong touched down on Mars last month, making China the only country besides the United States to land a robot on the planet. Construction began in April with the launch of Tianhe, the first and largest of three modules. Usually, discarded rocket stages reenter the atmosphere soon after liftoff, normally over water, and don't go into orbit.

A Long March-2F carrier rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and a crew of three astronauts, lifts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre.