Beautiful Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

Chinese astronauts blast off to space station as construction enters high gear

Chinese astronauts blast off to space station as construction enters high gear

Listen to the article
0:00
0:00
China sent three astronauts on Sunday on a six-month long mission to oversee a pivotal period of construction of its space station, whose final modules are due to be launched in the coming months.

The space station, when completed by the year-end, will lay a significant milestone in China's three-decades long manned space programme, first approved in 1992 and initially code-named "Project 921". It will also flag the start of permanent Chinese habitation in space.

The completion of the structure, about a fifth of the International Space Station (ISS) by mass, is a source of pride among ordinary Chinese people, and caps President Xi Jinping's 10 years as leader of the ruling Communist Party.

A Long March-2F rocket, which was used to launch China's first crewed spaceflight on the Shenzhou-5 mission in 2003, lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert in northwest China at 10:44 a.m. (0244 GMT) with the spacecraft Shenzhou-14, or "Divine Vessel", and its three astronauts, a live broadcast by state television showed.

"I watched the launch of Shenzhou-5 when I was a primary student, and now we have Shenzhou-14," Zanna Zhang, a social media developer, told Reuters.

"Of course I'm super excited, and I'm so proud as a Chinese. We're one step closer to becoming a space superpower," the 25-year-old said.

Construction began in April last year with the launch of the first and largest of its three modules - Tianhe - the living quarters of visiting astronauts. The lab modules Wentian and Mengtian are to be launched in July and October, respectively.

Shenzhou-14 mission commander Chen Dong, 43, and team mates Liu Yang, 43, and Cai Xuzhe, 46, all from China's second cohort of astronauts, will live and work on the space station for about 180 days before returning to Earth in December with the arrival of the Shenzhou-15 crew.

'PIVOTAL BATTLE'


Former air force pilot Chen with Liu, who became China's first female astronaut in space a decade ago, and space mission debutant Cai, will oversee the rendezvous, docking and integration of Wentian and Mengtian with the core module.

They will also install equipment inside and outside the space station and carry out a range of scientific research.

"The Shenzhou-14 mission is a pivotal battle in the construction stage of China's space station," Chen told a news conference in Jiuquan on Saturday. "The task will be tougher, there will be more problems and the challenges will be greater."

When completed, the T-shaped space station can accommodate as many as 25 lab cabinets, each a micro lab that can be used to conduct experiments. Wentian will be equipped to support life science research while Mengtian will focus on microgravity experiments.

Wentian will also have an airlock cabin for extravehicular trips, as well as short-term living quarters for astronauts during crew rotations.

The space station is designed for a lifespan of at least a decade.

Its ability for long-term accommodation of just three astronauts, compared with seven on the ISS, has not deterred China from extending invitations to foreign astronauts in its ambition to internationalise the space station.

The three-module station could be expanded into a four-module cross-shaped configuration in the future, a deputy designer of the space station told Chinese media last year.

Mirroring the ISS, spacecraft and modules launched by other nations are also welcome to dock with and become a long-term member of the Chinese station. Commercial human spaceflight to the station is also being explored.

Comments

Oh ya 235 days ago
Well the US can just go back to the moon HAHAHAHA. is Spielberg still alive to make another movie?

Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
Close
0:00
0:00
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
BVI Freedom Song
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
China's first population drop in six decades
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Hello Dolly
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Yes He Can
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Unforgettable
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
The Lord's Prayer
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Siyahamba
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
Ramblin' Rose
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
Common, John Legend - Glory
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You
×