China's upcoming manned mission - Shenzhou XII - is expected to set off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China's Gobi Desert to the Tianhe core module of the nation's space station.
A Long March 2F carrier rocket with the Shenzhou XII spacecraft on top of it was moved to its launch pad at the space complex on Wednesday evening, according to the China Manned Space Agency.
The agency said in a brief statement the rocket and the spaceship will receive prelaunch examinations and tests, adding the launch center is ready for the coming mission.
The Shenzhou XII spacecraft will dock with Tianhe and the three crew members on board will enter the core module to work inside it for three months.
Tianhe, or Harmony of Heaven, was lifted by a Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province on April 29. The largest and heaviest spacecraft China has ever built, the module is the first part of the Chinese space station, named Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace.
On May 29, the first visiting spacecraft to Tianhe, the Tianzhou 2 robotic cargo ship, was launched at the Wenchang center and soon docked with the module. The combination is now traveling in a low-Earth orbit several hundred kilometers above the Earth.
China's most ambitious space endeavor, the Tiangong station will consist of three main components - a core module attached to two space labs - with a combined weight of nearly 70 metric tons. The entire station is set to work for about 15 years, mission planners have said.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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Spacewalks planned for Shenzhou missions
Beijing (XNA) Jun 02, 2021
Astronauts on the upcoming Shenzhou XII mission will engage in spacewalks outside the Tianhe core module of China's Tiangong space station, a key figure in the nation's manned space endeavor said. Yang Liwei, the first Chinese in space and now deputy chief planner of the country's manned space program, told China Central Television on Sunday in Wenchang, Hainan province, that during their three-month journey with Tianhe, two of the three-member crew, whose names have yet to be disclosed, will exit ... read more