TECH China launches Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship

TECH

China launches Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship

By Yu Jianbin and Wu Yuehui | People's Daily app

09:23, June 17, 2021

The crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, is launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China's Gobi Desert, June 17, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

China said the Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship has successfully entered its intended orbit.

The spaceship, carried by a Long March-2F rocket, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu Province at 9:22 am Thursday.

After a 573-second flight, the spaceship separated from the rocket and entered into orbit. The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said the three astronauts aboard are in good condition.

This is the first manned mission during the construction of China's space station, and the astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo will stay in orbit for three months.

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The Shenzhou-12 spaceship will conduct a fast autonomous rendezvous and docking with the space station core module Tianhe and form a complex with Tianhe and the cargo craft Tianzhou-2.

China launched Tianhe on April 29 and Tianzhou-2 on May 29. The complex formed by the two spacecraft is in good condition and ready for the astronauts, according to the CMSA.

Nie, the most experienced among the three astronauts, was in the Shenzhou-6 mission in 2005 and the Shenzhou-10 mission in 2013.

It is Liu's second space mission. He participated in the Shenzhou-7 mission in 2008, which featured a landmark spacewalk.

Tang is a newcomer to space. He became a member of the second batch of Chinese astronaut trainees in 2010.

The launch was carried out with a Long March-2F carrier rocket.

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