Sunday, October 16, 2016

China is launching its first crewed mission to the Tiangong 2 space station

At 7:30PM this evening, China will launch its first crewed mission to the Tiangong-2 space station, which will test the station’s life support and conduct a variety of experiments over the next 30 days. The mission will be the longest flight the country has conducted to date.

This is the first crewed mission for the country since 2013, and will be carried out by a pair of taikonauts: Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong. The pair will ride into space aboard the Shenzhou-11, which will launch atop China’s Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan launch site in the Gobi desert. The crew will arrive at Tiangong-2 two days after launching. This will be the longest crewed mission China has conducted: the prior record for the country was fifteen days,...

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