China space crew is now expected to head to the Chinese version of the ISS, the Shenzhou-12 space station at 9:22 AM GMT on June 17, 2021. Two of the astronauts heading into space actually have previous experience as they flew during previous missions while the third is now going to space for the very first time ever.
Chinese Space Station Shenzhou-12
According to abcNews, Ji Qiming, the Assistant Director of the China Manned Space Agency, told reporters over at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center located in northwest China on June 16, 2021 that two astronauts had previous experience. The main section of the Tianhe or the Heavenly Harmony station was officially launched into orbit on April 29, 2021.
Three men that are headed to the space station on June 17, 2021 plan to live there for a total of three months while conducting spacewalks, maintenance works, and of course, science experiments. The astronauts are traveling to the Shenzhou-12 spaceship through the Long March-2F Y12 rocket which is set to blast off at 9:22 AM GMT on June 17, 2021.
The mission is set to be the third out of 11 that are now planned throughout the end of next year to help build and maintain the station as well as sending up crew members and supplies. The two other modules are expected to launch some time next year.
This is going to be the very first crewed mission from China in five years. The country has previously sent a total of 11 astronauts directly into space ever since becoming just the third country to do so back in 2003. All of the pilots came from the ruling Communist Party of China's military wing, specifically the People's Liberation Army.
Tianhe Crew All Male
Although the initial Tianhe crew is said to be all male, women will later on be part of the future crews to brave the station, according to officials. Tianhe now builds on experience China has gained from operating two different experimental space stations some time earlier in its increasingly optimistic space program.
The Chinese astronauts spent a total of 33 days living on the second of the previous station. They were able to carry out spacewalks and even taught science classes which were then beamed down to students stretching across the country.
Tianwen-1 Mars Probe
China previously landed a probe called Tianwen-1 on Mars some time last month which was carrying a rover, the Zhurong, according to an article by Space. It had also been able to bring back lunar samples which was the first by any country's individual space program ever since the 1970s, and even landed a probe and rover on the moon's much less explored far side.
Beijing technically doesn't participate in the official ISS or International Space Station due to the US concerns when it comes to Chinese program's secrecy as well as military connections.
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Written by Urian B.