China Launches a Shenzhou-12 Capsule with Three Astronauts to a New Space Station

The astronauts of China aboard Shenzhou-12 and will remain inside the orbit for three months. The astronauts Nie Haisheng, Tang Hongbo, and Liu Boming will spend their tie in the Tianhe module or Harmony of the heaven around 380 km above the Earth’s surface. It is the longest crewed space mission of China to date and is the first one in nearly five years. On June 17, the Shenzhou-12 capsule took off successfully on the top of its Long March 2F rocket. The manned spacecraft will board at 09.22 Beijing time which is 01.22 GMT and will take off from the Jiuquan satellite launch center located in the Gobi Desert.


The launch and the mission are a demonstration of the elevated confidence and capability of China in the space domain. The country has brought rock and soil samples from the Moon’s surface to the Earth and landed a six-wheeled robot successfully on Mars over the past six months. Both the missions were highly complex as well as challenging.


The Crew’s Work in the Space


The main objective for Nie Haisheng, the commander, and his team on the mission is that they have to bring the Tianhe module of 22.5-tonne into service. The commander said that he has many expectations regarding the mission. They require to set up a new home in space and evaluate a new technologies series. Therefore, the mission for them is quite challenging and tough. He further said that he believes that the team will be working closely and will perform accurate operations while overcoming the challenges. They have high confidence in the completion of the mission.  


The 4.2m wide, 16.6m long Tianhe cylinder got launched in April and is the first core component that is comprising of science labs, living quarters, and also a Hubble-class telescope to see the cosmos in detail. Several elements are going to be launched over the course of an upcoming couple of years. Crew expeditions and regular cargo deliveries will accompany all the construction work.


The food, fuel, or any other equipment that the three astronauts will require during their stay in Tianhe was delivered earlier by a robotic freighter. The freighter is attached, and the trio will do the unpacking of their supplies as soon as they settle, which will be their first task. In the delivery, it included two spacesuits for conducting spacewalks on the outer part of Tianhe.

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