China successfully launches a manned mission to its space station | Science

China successfully launches a manned mission to its space station |  Science

China successfully launched a three-astronaut mission to its space station on Thursday Tiangong, in a new milestone in his program to explore the sky. The three components of the mission plan to stay at that space base for three months, the longest time a Chinese astronaut has spent in space.

The Shenzhou-12 spacecraft, or “divine ship”, took off at 9.22 Beijing time (3.22 Spanish time) from the satellite launch base in Jiuquan, Gansu Province (northwest China), aboard a Long March 2F rocket. “The flight went smoothly,” said Chen Shanguang, deputy director of China’s manned spaceflight program. This was the first step, but there will be many challenges ahead. This is the third mission launched by Beijing since April to build its space station. Then it put the Tianhe Main Vehicle into orbit and dispatched a cargo ship last month. Chinese space authorities plan to complete eight more missions – of which, three are manned – before the base is finished.

The three Chinese astronauts will stay until September in tianhe. During their stay, Ni Haisheng, 56 years old; Liu Boming, 54, and Yang Hongbo, 45, will check the performance of the unit’s systems, especially the life support system (recycling oxygen, water, and other essential elements to sustain survival in space). “It’s a great experience!” The head of the expedition, Commander Ni, commented when Shenzhou 12 entered orbit. The spacecraft is expected to dock with the space station later Thursday.

Although they will break the national record for stay in space, they will not be the Chinese astronauts with the longest time in orbit: Another subsequent mission plans to spend six months in the unit, which measures 16.6 meters in size. With a width of 4.2 or slightly more than the bus.

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Chinese Space Station (CSS is its English acronym, or Tiangong, Heavenly Palace, as it is called in your country) will have two more units, Wentian s Mengtian Heavenly Search and Heavenly Dream, respectively — two laboratories will be installed on each side of Tianhe. In total, the T-shaped construction will weigh about 90 tons and will reach dimensions similar to the Russian MIR, although it will be four times smaller than the International Space Station. It’s designed to accommodate teams of three astronauts during long stays, although up to six people may bump into it during relay times between crews. Experts from the Chinese Space Agency (CSNA) expect that its construction will be completed by the end of next year and that it may be in operation for a maximum of 15 years.

China, which does not participate in the International Space Station due to a veto by the US agency NASA, whose laws prohibit cooperation with Beijing, plans to use its space station to test key technologies in its ambitions to explore outer space and resist materials in space. .

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