Three Chinese astronauts set to originate to fresh set verbalize this week: What to understand


The Shenzhou-12 spacecraft will order three Chinese taikonauts to the core module of China’s set verbalize, Tianhe.

Getty/Xinhua News Agency

Three Chinese astronauts are heading to the nation’s nowadays launched set verbalize to use roughly three months within the Tianhe core module. The Shenzhou-12 spacecraft will originate from the Jiuquan Satellite tv for pc Begin Heart within the Gobi Barren space in northern China.

The originate is anticipated to occur at 9: 22 a.m. native time Thursday, which equates to 6: 22 p.m. PT on Wednesday. Will we be in a quandary to search out alongside? That’s an originate ask. Chinese verbalize media would possibly perhaps also elevate a livestream of the originate, and we are going to post it here as quickly as all of us know.

Why is the crewed flight one of these mammoth deal? Or no longer it is miles the first time in 5 years that China is sending “taikonauts” — Chinese astronauts — to set. The three taikonauts selected to lope on the flight are Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo. Haisheng has flown on two previous flights, whereas Boming has flown on one. This would possibly perhaps be the first flight for Hongbo. 

China’s final crewed originate took space on Oct. 17, 2016, and docked with the China’s final set verbalize, Tiangong-2. That verbalize no longer orbits the Earth, having been intentionally deorbited in July 2019.

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Ravishing bodies

In April, China started building of its next-generation set verbalize with the originate of the Tianhe core module. Two additional modules will be launched within the coming 18 months, but Tianhe is ready for habitation now. When entire, the verbalize will present a human outpost in low-Earth orbit for China, allowing the nation and partner countries to make science experiments for the following decade. 

Speaking at a press convention on Tuesday, Ji Qiming, of the China Manned Condominium Agency, said the mission will peek to entire a few main objectives touching on to verification of key applied sciences:

  • Astronaut long-length, in-orbit stays
  • Regenerative atmosphere abet a watch on and lifestyles give a boost to
  • Crew and affords resupply
  • Further vehicular activities and operations
  • In-orbit upkeep

Provided all goes successfully with the originate, the fledgling verbalize will develop to be the largest varied operational set habitat outside of the International Condominium Position. This would possibly perhaps also additionally be a few quarter of the scale of the ISS when building is accomplished in 2022. The upcoming Shenzhou 12 originate is the first of 4 crewed flights to wait on produce the verbalize.

The core module of the Chinese Condominium Position launched in April.


Why is China building a collection verbalize?

Condominium science and human spaceflight capabilities, basically, with a wholesome aspect of geopolitics.

The US Congress passed a regulations fighting American contact with China’s set program in 2011, successfully barring China and its taikonauts and scientists from taking part in missions to the ISS. 

China launched its possess set verbalize, Tiangong-1, that similar 365 days. It operated for precise over four years sooner than its carrier modified into ended. China’s set program conceded it lost abet a watch on of the verbalize in early 2016 and, two years later, it came crashing down, landing within the Pacific Ocean. A be aware-up verbalize, Tiangong-2, modified into launched in 2016 and intentionally deorbited in 2019. Each supplied a check mattress for the fresh Chinese set verbalize, which is merely named Tiangong. 

The fresh verbalize is anticipated to orbit at round 230 miles above the Earth, about 20 miles lower than the ISS, being able to pass up and down in orbit as important.


After the originate of the Tianhe core module aid in April, the sector modified into transfixed by the spent rocket booster, former to get Tianhe to orbit, and its descent aid to Earth. Its deorbit modified into uncontrolled, elevating concerns it would possibly perhaps also break aid real into a populated set of the planet. Fortunately, Earth contains quite plenty of unpopulated areas — and the booster crashed into the Indian Ocean, although no longer too a long way from the Maldives. 

The Long March 2F rocket is a minute varied to the Long March 5B former in that mission, but there dangle been questions over China’s handling of the deorbit job. One among the first questions journalists at the convention press Qiming on modified into how China modified into making ready for Shenzhou 12’s booster to descend aid to Earth. 

“The final stages of every fashion of launchers that make the set verbalize missions dangle been handled with passivation technology and is not any longer going to blow up in orbit and generate set particles,” Qiming, who perceived to read from a prepared statement, said by job of a translator.

“We’re prepared to habits extra broad world exchanges and cooperation with varied countries on the flaws of manmade spacecraft wreckage and set particles to make particular the long length of time sustainability of outer set activities.”

Watch the Shenzhou-12 originate

Or no longer it is currently unclear if the Shenzhou 12 originate will be televised. The Chinese set company does no longer in general present livestreams — although this would possibly perhaps also be changing. The Tianhe originate modified into carried by CCTV and varied Chinese verbalize media companies and products on YouTube. After we get a hyperlink, we are going to throw it up here.