China will launch three astronauts on the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft to work on the advanced stages of construction of the nation’s first space station.
The rocket carrying the Shenzhou-14 will take astronauts Chen Dong, Liu Yang, and Cai Xuzhe to the Tiangong space station, where they will carry out assembly tasks of the station for the next six months.
- The rocket launch is scheduled for 10:44 a.m. local time on Sunday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the northwest Gobi Desert.
“After entering orbit, the spaceship will adopt fast automated rendezvous and docking with the radial port of the space station core module Tianhe, forming a complex with Tianhe as well as the cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-3 and Tianzhou-4”, Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency, said.
The Chinese agency expects the Tiangong, comprising a core module, the Tianhe, and two lab modules – Wentian and Mengtian – will operate for 15 years.
Wentian and Mengtian are due to launch in July and October, respectively.
The core Tianhe module is the largest spacecraft ever built in China, providing living quarters, navigation, and station controls.
Source: SPUTNIK NEWS