China to send three astronauts to Tiangong space station, part of its ambitious program

JIUQUAN SATELLITE LAUNCH CENTER, China (AP) — China’s house company is making remaining preparations to ship a brand new crew to its house station on Thursday as a part of its formidable program that goals to place individuals on the moon by 2030.

The three-member crew of the Shenzhou-18 spacecraft will relieve the present workforce who’ve been manning China’s Tiangong house station since final October.

China constructed its personal house station after being excluded from the Worldwide House Station, largely because of the United States’ issues over the Individuals’s Liberation Military’s — the Chinese language Communist Occasion’s army arm’s — involvement in this system. This yr, the station is slated for 2 cargo spacecraft missions and two manned spaceflight missions.

In a press convention on Wednesday, the China Manned House Company (CMSA) launched the three astronauts: Commander Ye Guangfu, 43, a veteran astronaut who was a part of the Shenzhou-13 mission in 2021; and astronauts Li Cong, 34, and Li Guangsu, 36, who will go to house for the primary time.

The Shenzhou-18 crew will spend about six months on the house station. They may conduct scientific checks, set up house particles safety gear on the house station, perform payload experiments, and popularize science training, amongst different issues, in line with Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the CMSA.

Lin additionally mentioned China was working towards finally providing entry to its house station to international astronauts and house vacationers.

“We’ll speed up the analysis and promotion of the participation of international astronauts and house vacationers in flights with China’s house station,” he mentioned. “We undoubtedly anticipate to see astronauts of various identities on China’s house station.”

The crew is about for lift-off at 1259 GMT from the Jiuquan Satellite tv for pc Launch Middle on the sting of the Gobi Desert within the nation’s northwest.

China performed its first manned house mission in 2003, changing into the third nation after the previous Soviet Union and the U.S. to place an individual into house utilizing its personal sources.

The U.S. house program is believed to nonetheless maintain a major edge over China’s as a result of its spending, provide chains and capabilities. Nevertheless, China has damaged out in some areas, bringing samples again from the lunar floor for the primary time in many years and touchdown a rover on the much less explored far aspect of the moon.

The U.S. — the one nation to have beforehand put astronauts on the moon — goals to place a crew again on the lunar floor by the tip of 2025 as a part of a renewed dedication to crewed missions, aided by personal sector gamers comparable to SpaceX and Blue Origin.

Solely 4 nations, the U.S., Russia, China and India, have landed spacecraft on the moon.


Mistreanu reported from Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


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