China has sent three astronauts to space

China has sent three astronauts to space

The launch on the morning of Thursday 17 June was a success: China is getting closer and closer to the completion of its new space station

(photo: @ cnnbrk / Twitter) I am now on my way to the space station Tiangong-2 - the Heavenly Palace - the three Chinese astronauts, commonly called taikonauts, for the first manned mission in nearly five years. Departed with the Divine Vessel shuttle at 9:22 am on June 17, 2021 from the Jiuquan launch center in the Gobi desert, in northwestern China, they will dock after a 6 and a half hour journey to the central module of the Chinese space station still under construction . They will stay there for three months to test life support systems and for maintenance services, including two spacewalks. The launch with the Long March-2F rocket was broadcast live on national television.

The three astronauts

The crew of this mission is three men. At the head of the mission is Nie Haisheng, who is the oldest member with two missions already behind him (in 2005 and 2013), and who was in the shortlist to be the first Chinese in Space (an honor that was then touched to Yang Liwei). With him there will be Liu Boming (also with a mission behind him) and the rookie (so to speak, given the 11 years of training) Tang Hongbo.

VIDEO: The first astronauts for China's new space station bid farewell at a departure ceremony in Jiuquan before their launch on a Long March-2F rocket for the country's longest crewed mission to date

- AFP News Agency (@AFP) June 17 , 2021

China, superpower also in Space

No Chinese astronaut has ever set foot on the International Space Station (ISS): conflicts with the United States have always prevented it. But this does not mean that China has given up on Space, and indeed in recent years it has shown that it can compete with the other superpowers of the planet, building a first space station that was then decommissioned and successfully carrying out several other missions, such as sending its own rovers. exploring the Moon or the recent successes of the Martian missions.

And now he is about to complete a new space station of his own: Tiangong-2.


The Palazzo celeste is still being assembled: the central module, which will house the astronauts, is in orbit, but other modules will have to be launched over the next few months, including three more manned spacecraft and two laboratory modules. The goal is to complete Tiangong-2 by 2022, and hopefully it should be operational for 10 years.

Although foreign astronauts are not expected to be involved at this stage of the project, the Chinese space agency - he declares - he will certainly welcome non-Chinese crew members in the future.

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