China’s new space station is trying to win the first human visitors.
The· Shenzhou 12 The mission was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China on Wednesday (June 16) and reached the summit of the Long March 2 rocket at 9:22 EST (9:22 AM EST on June 17). It rose in.
Shenzhou 12 is the first manned space flight in China in nearly five years, and has dispatched three astronauts to the country’s core module, Tenwa (“Heavenly Harmony”). New space station.. If all goes according to plan, the trio will board the 54-foot (16.6-meter) Tenwa for three months for a variety of testing and maintenance activities.
Relation: Latest News on China’s Space Program
Commander Nie Haisheng of Shenzhou 12 said at a press conference at Jiuquan on Tuesday, June 15 (Jiuquan, June 16), “I am honored to take the lead in a series of manned missions to build a space station. I think. I have a lot of expectations. ” , According to China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency..
“Not only will we make the Core Module a’space home’, but we will also carry out a series of key technical verifications,” Knee said. “There are more difficult tasks and more challenges.”
Knee has already traveled to Earth twice before today’s launch, Shenzhou 6 2005 mission and command Shenzhou 10 Two other men joined him in Shenzhou 12 in 2013. Shenzhou 7 In 2008, new astronaut Tan Hongbo.
The launch of Shenzhou 12 is the third of No. 11 needed to build a new space station in China and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. The first construction launch took place on April 28th. Send Tianhe to low earth orbit.. The second came on May 29th, Loft the cargo ship of Robot Tianzhou 2Packed with over 6.6 tons of consumables, it remains attached to the core module.
Module Long March 5B rocket’s huge core stage reaches orbit, Crashed to Earth out of control 10 days later. However, this problem did not recur with Tianzhou 2 launched on the Long March 7 rocket. Also, it was not expected to recur in Shenzhou 12.
Two of the remaining eight assembly missions lofted “lab modules” named Wentian and Mentian, mounted on both sides of Tenna, and were T-shaped, about 15% the size of 450 tons. Form an outpost. International Space Station (ISS). According to Chinese space officials, three more robot supply flights and three crew missions will take place during the construction of the outpost.
Pave the way
Shenzhou 12 has three astronauts, Shenzhou 11. Tiangong-2 Prototype space laboratory for a one-month stay.
As the name implies, Tiangong-2 was the second Pathfinder vehicle after Tiangong-1 launched in September 2011 (since China is not a partner in a huge international project, the ISS No such experience was gained through. In 2011, US law states that NASA and the White House Science and Technology Policy Bureau will take China’s response to space activities unless Congress approves such cooperation in advance. It is forbidden to cooperate with others.)
Tiangong-1 accepted two crew members, three astronauts, Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10, arriving in June 2012 and June 2013, respectively. Both crew members spent about two weeks in the space laboratory.
Shenzhou 11 was the only crew mission to Tiangong-2. However, China sent Tianzhou 1’s robotic unmanned spacecraft to the Space Research Institute in April 2017, and conducted a series of docking and refueling tests with cargo ships over the next five months.
Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2 technical testing work was completed a few years ago, and both space laboratories are now dead. Tiangong-1 fell out of control to Earth In April 2018, it burned up over the Pacific Ocean. China unloaded Tiangong-2 in a controlled manner, also over the Pacific Ocean, in July 2019.
Lots of things to do
Tianhe is much larger and more complex than Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2, which are 34 feet (10.4 m) long. According to Xinhua, the recently launched Core Module has three separate bedrooms and three times the internal space of its two predecessors.
Nie, Liu and Tang help get Tianhe up and running. Xinhua, citing officials from the China Manned Space Agency, reported that the trio had four major missions during its three-month mission.
Astronauts test, validate, and operate the Core Module and its various systems.Assemble and test the spacesuit and do two Extravehicular activity Outside Tenna; Conduct science and technology experiments and public support. And manage and monitor their health.
The past few months have been full of action for China’s space program, as well as the launch of Tianzhou, Tianzhou 2 and Shenzhou 11.For example, May 14, country Landed the first ever Mars rover on a red planet, And it keeps manipulating the rover on the other side of the moon’s mysterious and almost unexplored.
Mike Wall says “there“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book on the exploration of alien life. Follow him on Twitter @ michaeldwall. Follow him on Twitter @ Spacedotcom or Facebook.
https://www.space.com/china-launches-astronauts-space-station-tianhe-shenzhou-12 China launches three astronauts on new space station