China's permanent station plans ride on mission
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Oct 19, 2016
As a Chinese spaceship rockets through the void toward a rendezvous with a new Chinese space lab, experts say a monumental step in the nation's long march in space exploration is about to occur.
On Monday morning, China's Shenzhou XI manned spacecraft was sent skyward atop a Long March 2F rocket that thundered away from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.
Shenzhou XI carries two male astronauts - 49-year-old Jing Haipeng and 37-year-old Chen Dong. After a two-day journey, they are to dock with and spend 30 days living and working in Tiangong II, a new Chinese space lab. It will be double the longest stay by Chinese astronauts in space.
Tiangong II was launched in mid-September to replace the Tiangong I space lab, after the latter was retired in March according to plan.
But even more important than the length of stay, the mission is a giant step toward China having a permanent space station. Not only that, it's a station that experts said is likely to be the world's only one after the International Space Station is retired around 2024.
The Shenzhou XI-Tiangong II mission is a sign of China's full readiness for a space station, according to Lieutenant General Zhang Yulin, deputy head of the Central Military Commission's Equipment Development Department and the manned space program.
Once the station is put into use, China will launch "several space missions" each year to transport astronauts, engineers and even tourists to it, Zhang said.
As Chinese across the nation raptly watched the new step into the heavens, President Xi Jinping sent a congratulation message from the Indian state Goa where he was attending a summit of the emerging-market countries over the weekend.
Premier Li Keqiang and other high-ranking officials watched the start of the space mission from the headquarters of China Manned Space Agency in Beijing.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
China Manned Space Engineering Agency
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.