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China launches Shenzhou-14 spacecraft to complete space station construction

ANI | Updated: Jun 05, 2022 12:54 IST

Beijing [China], June 5 (ANI): China on Sunday launched the spaceship Shenzhou-14 with three astronauts to its new Tiangong space station where they will work and live for six months as construction enters advanced stages.
A Long March-2F Y14 carrier rocket carrying the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft was launched at 10:44 am from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Northwest China's Gansu Province, Global times reported.
The three Shenzhou 14 crewmembers -- commander Chen Dong, Liu Yang, and Cai Xuzhe -- were officially revealed as the crew earlier on Saturday.
Shenzhou-14 is creating history as it is the first crewed spaceflight mission to Tianhe at the China Space Station in-orbit assembly stage and this is the first mission without an older age line.
The Wentian and Mengtian space station lab modules, the Tianzhou-5 cargo spacecraft, and the Shenzhou-15 manned spacecraft are expected to be launched during the Shenzhou-14 crew's six-month stay in orbit, reported Global Times.
Chen Dong, a veteran of the 2016 Shenzhou 11 mission, has started his second mission and first as commander. Another crew, Liu Yang, became China's first woman in space after she went to space in 2012, in the Shenzhou-9 mission, while Cai Xuzhe, will be making his maiden voyage during the upcoming mission.
"For this day, I have prepared 12 years. I feel honored and proud to have this chance to go into space for my country," Xuzhe said as quoted by Global Times.
Referring to the younger lineup, a Beijing-based senior space expert said that the new Shenzhou taikonaut trio must have shown outstanding performance during training, and the younger crew members have mastered new knowledge and new skills for the mission.
The trio is slated to carry out the verification of big and small robotic arms, spacewalks, and the construction of payload outside the cabin, the Global Times learned from the Shenzhou spacecraft developer with the state-owned aerospace contractor China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC.)
Another highlight of the Shenzhou-14 mission is the installation of a small robotic arm on the Wentian module.
The previous mission, the Shenzhou-13 mission safely returned back to Earth on April 16 after concluding the technology verification stage of China's space station, reported Global Times. (ANI)