China plans to finish house station with newest mission

BEIJING – China is getting ready to launch a brand new three-person mission to finish work on its permanent orbiting space station, the China Manned Area Company mentioned Saturday.

The Shenzhou 14 crew will spend six months on the Tiangong station, throughout which they may oversee the addition of two laboratory modules to affix the main Tianhe living space that was launched in April 2021.

Their spaceship is because of blast off from the Jiuquan Satellite tv for pc Launch Middle on the sting of the Gobi Desert at 10:44 a.m. Sunday (0244 GMT), the company mentioned. The crewed house flight program’s workhorse Lengthy March 2F rocket will present propulsion.

Commander Chen Dong and fellow astronauts Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe will assemble the three-module construction becoming a member of the present Tianhe with Wentian and Mengtian, as a result of arrive in July and October. One other cargo craft, the Tianzhou-3, stays docked with the station.

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The arrival of the brand new modules will “present extra stability, extra highly effective capabilities, extra full tools,” mentioned Chen, 43, who was a member of the Shenzhou 11 mission in 2016.

Liu, 43, can also be an area veteran and was China’s first feminine astronaut to achieve house aboard the Shenzhou 9 mission in 2012. Cai, 46, is making his first house journey.

China’s house program launched its first astronaut into orbit in 2003, making it solely the third nation to take action by itself after the previous Soviet Union and the U.S.

It has landed robotic rovers on the moon and positioned one on Mars final yr. China has additionally returned lunar samples and officers have mentioned a attainable crewed mission to the moon.

China’s house program is run by the ruling Communist Celebration’s navy wing, the Individuals’s Liberation Military, prompting the U.S. to exclude it from the Worldwide Area Station.

Chen, Liu and Cai will likely be joined on the finish of their mission for 3 to 5 days by the crew of the upcoming Shenzhou 15, marking the primary time the station can have had six individuals aboard.

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