Mission to dock with an experimental space station
Mission to dock with an experimental space station:- China had launched a pair of astronauts into space on Monday, and they are on a mission to dock with an experimental space station and will remain aboard for 30 days in preparation for the start of operations by a full-bore facility six years starting from now.
The Shenzhou 11 mission has taken off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert which is in northern China at 7:30 a.m. (2330 GMT) aboard a Long March-2F carrier rocket.
It will dock with the Tiangong 2 space station precursor facility within the time span of two days, conduct experiments in medicine and also in various space-related technologies, and test systems and processes in preparation for the launching of the station’s core module in the year 2018.
Gen. Zhang Youxia, the Space program commander-in-chief had declared the launch a success at 7:46 a.m. (2346 GMT). Defense Minister Fan Changlong then read a congratulatory message from the President Xi Jinping calling for China’s astronauts to further explore space “more deeply and more broadly.”
Its China’s sixth time that they have launched astronauts in space
Interestingly, it is the sixth time China has launched their astronauts into space and the duration will be the longest by far.
Following the attachment of two experiment modules, the completed station is set to begin full operations in 2022 and will run for at least a decade.
The Shenzhou 11 astronauts are Jing Haipeng, who is flying his third mission, and 37-year-old Chen Dong.
The Long March-2F carrier rocket carrying China’s Shenzhou 11 spacecraft.
China has conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, becoming only the third country after Russia and also the U.S. to do so, and has since staged a spacewalk and landed its Yutu rover on the moon. Administrators suggest that a crewed landing on the moon may also be in the program’s future.
China had always prevented from participating in the International Space Station, mainly due to US concerns over the Chinese space program’s strongly military character. Chinese officials are now looking forward to internationalize their own program by offering to help finance other countries’ missions to Tiangong 2.
China also plans to land a rover on Mars by the year 2020, attempting to further recreate the success of the US Viking 1 mission that landed a rover on the planet four decades ago.
A source of enormous national pride, China’s space program plans a total of 20 missions this year at a time when the US and other countries’ programs are seeking new roles.