The Shenzhou 15 spacecraft has successfully docked to the Tiangong Space Station. Now there are six people on board. This will be the first crew replacement at a Chinese space outpost.
Successful Shenzhou 15 mission
The Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-15 launched on November 29 from the cosmodrome in the Gobi Desert and successfully docked with the Tiangong station. The docking ended at 11:46 p.m., GMT+2, on the same day. The newly arrived taikonauts Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu were met by Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe, who have been on it for six months.
The last during their stay in orbit managed to meet two experimental modules “Wentian” and “Mentian”, so now finally the Taikonauts would be able to start the planned program of scientific research. In addition, they have enough supplies on board thanks to the Tianzhou-5 cargo mission, which launched on November 11.
Soon, three Taikonauts who have been at the station for a long time will go to Earth. Thus, the first crew change will be carried out, which will take place directly on board. In the future, China plans to make this a routine procedure.
Thus, the Celestial Empire gets an outpost at its disposal, where people will constantly be located. It is quite possible that Tiangong will survive the International Space Station, the operation of which will last until the end of this decade. Therefore, it is quite possible that after a while China will remain the only country whose citizens are constantly in space.
Space station as the end of the space race stage
The construction of the Chinese space station was first discussed in 1992. Then the plans of the China look somewhat fantastic, but a lot has changed over the past 30 years. China has managed to become the second economy in the world after the United States. No one doubts its technical and economic viability now.
In 2003, China launched the Shenzhou-5 spacecraft with its first taikonaut on board. That was the first time the world heard this word. Two small stations launched in the early 2010s showed that China is quite capable of conducting space exploration on its own.
Interestingly enough, because the United States refused to join China to the ISS. So China had no choice but to create its own space outpost. It could have been started back in 2017, but then the accident of the Long March 5 carrier prevented its first module from being launched into space. This happened only in 2021. And this year, the construction of Tiangong was finally completed.
According to spacenews.com
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