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China plans to send three astronauts to the longest manned mission ever

In this photo released by Xinhua News, the manned spacecraft of Shenzhou 13 on the Long March 2 carrier rocket was moved to the launch area of ​​the Kyusen Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China on October 7, 2021. .. China is preparing to send three aircraft. The spacecraft will live on the space station for six months. This is a new milestone in a program that has made rapid progress in recent years. Credit: Wang Jiangbo / Xinhua via AP

China is preparing to have three astronauts live on the space station for six months. This is a new milestone in a program that has made rapid progress in recent years.


It will be the longest crew in China Space mission And it set a record for the longest time Chinese astronauts spent in space. The Shenzhou 13 spacecraft will be launched into space by the Long March 2 rocket early Saturday morning from the Kyusen Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northwestern China.

The first crew member to complete a 90-day mission on the main Tenwa Core Module Space station I returned in mid-September.

The new crew includes two veterans of space travel. Pilot Zhai Zhigang, 55, was the first EVA in China. Wang Yaping, 41, and the only woman on the mission, traveled through one of China’s early experimental space stations, conducting experiments and leading science lessons in real time. Ye Guangfu (41) travels to space for the first time.

The mission is expected to carry out two EVAs, deploy a 10-meter (33-foot) mechanical arm, and continue the work of the first crew member to make a video call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. It has been.

Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Program, said the rocket was fueled and ready to fly. “All systems to carry out Shenzhou 13’s mission have undergone a comprehensive rehearsal. The flight crew are in good condition and ready for launch,” Lin said in a briefing on Thursday. rice field.

The crew’s planned activities include up to three EVAs to install the equipment in preparation for expansion. station, Examining living conditions within the module and conducting experiments in space medicine and other areas, Lin said.

Chinese army to run Space planHas released few details, but states that it will send multiple crew members to the station over the next two years to make it fully functional.Shenzhou 13 will be the 5th MissionIncludes crewless travel to deliver supplies.

China plans to send three astronauts to the longest manned mission ever

In this photo released by Xinhua News, a manned spacecraft of Shenzhou 13 was mounted on the Long March 2 rocket and prepared to be transferred to the launch area of ​​the Kyusen Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China on October 7, 2021. I am. China is in preparation. Let three astronauts live on the space station for six months. This is a new milestone in a program that has made rapid progress in recent years. Credit: Wang Jiangbo / Xinhua via AP

Completed with the addition of two modules named Mengtian and Wentian, the station weighs approximately 66 tonnes. This is a fraction of the International Space Station, which launched its first module in 1998, and weighs about 450 tonnes when completed. Lin said the two additional modules would be sent by the end of next year during the stay of the unnamed Shenzhou 14 crew.

China has been excluded from the International Space Station, primarily due to the secret nature of China’s programs and US opposition to close military ties. We planned to build our own space station in the early 1990s and prepared two experimental modules before embarking on a permanent station.

US law requires parliamentary approval for communication between the US and China’s space programs, but China works with space experts from countries such as France, Sweden, Russia, and Italy.

Mr Lin said China is expanding such cooperation, Ye Guangfu was trained with the European Space Agency in 2016, and European astronauts participated in China’s maritime survival training in 2017. ..

“We welcome astronauts from other countries to enter our space station and engage in international cooperation,” Lin said. “We believe that more foreign astronauts will visit our station after the station is in operation and use.”

Since 2003, when China became the third country after the former Soviet Union and the United States, it has launched seven manned missions carrying a total of 14 astronauts. Two Chinese astronauts flew twice.

In addition to its crew mission, China has expanded its work on lunar and Mars exploration, including placing rover behind the moon and returning moon rocks to Earth for the first time since the 1970s.

China has landed the Tianwen-1 spacecraft on Mars this year. On Mars, the accompanying Zhurong Rover was looking for evidence of life on the Red Planet.

Other programs require collecting soil from asteroids and bringing back additional lunar samples. China has also expressed its desire to land people on the moon and perhaps build a scientific foundation there, but no timeline for such a project has been proposed.Very secretive space It is reported that the airplane is also under development.


Three crew members leave China’s space station for Earth 90 days later


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China plans to send three astronauts to the longest manned mission ever

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