mardi 18 octobre 2016

China sends two taïkonauts aboard Tiangong-2

CASC - Shenzhou-11 Mission patch.

Oct. 18, 2016

China's Shenzhou-11 spacecraft with two taïkonauts (astronauts) on board entered its designated orbit on Oct.17,2016.

Image above: A Long March 2F rocket lifts off Oct. 16 carrying the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft. Image Credit: Xinhua.

The spacecraft, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. The launch of Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong on Shenzhou-11 took place at 23:30 UTC using the Long March 2F/G (Y11) rocket, with liftoff taking place from Pad 921 at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center’s LC43 Launch Complex.

Launch of Manned China Mission with Shenzhou 11 to Tiangong-2

On board Shenzhou-11 are astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, publicly announced as the crew less than 24 hours before the launch. Jing is a veteran astronaut, having flown on Shenzhou-7 in 2008 and Shenzhou-9 in 2012. Chen is making his first spaceflight.

Chinese taïkonauts Jing Haipeng (R) and Chen Dong (L). Image Credit: Xinhua.

Shenzhou-11 is scheduled to dock with the Tiangong-2 module Oct. 18. That module, launched Sept. 15, will host the crew for 30 days, twice as long as the existing Chinese human spaceflight endurance record, set by the Shenzhou-10 mission in June 2013. That mission was also the last Chinese human spaceflight prior to the Shenzhou-11 mission.

During the 30-day mission, Jing and Chen will carry out a number of medical and space science experiments, as well as test various systems on the Tiangong-2 module. They will also engage in public outreach activities, including serving as “special correspondents” for the state-run Xinhua news service.

Shenzhou-11 docking at Tiangong-2 orbital module. Image Credit:CASC

The mission is part of Chinese efforts to develop a permanent space station. Chinese officials have indicated that they expect this station, consisting of several modules but smaller than the International Space Station, to be completed by the early 2020s.

For more information about the mission, visit:

Images (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: CASC/Xinhua.


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