Chinese manned spacecraft 'Shenzhou 12' successfully docked with the core module of the space station 'Tiangong', three astronauts to stay in space

At 9:22 on June 17, 2021 Beijing time, the manned spacecraft '

Shenzhou 12 ' was launched from the Sake Fountain Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert, China. Approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes after the launch, Shenzhou 12 succeeded in docking with the core module of China's original space station 'Tiangong ', and it is reported that three astronauts started staying at the space station. ..

Shenzhou-12 docks with Tianhe space station module --SpaceNews

First astronauts enter China's Tiangong space station after successful docking operation | South China Morning Post

China space station: Shenzhou-12 successfully launches, sending astronauts to Tiangong station --CNN

China, which has been locked out of the International Space Station (ISS) project, is planning to build its own space station, Tiangong. On April 29, 2021, the core module of the space station 'Tenwa' was launched , and on May 30, the unmanned cargo ship 'Tianzhou 2' succeeded in docking with Tenwa, 4.69 tons. Delivered the cargo.

Finally, on June 17, the manned spacecraft 'Shenzhou 12' was launched using the launch vehicle Long March 2F . You can see how Shenzhou 12 was actually launched by watching the following movie.

China successfully launches Shenzhou-12 manned space station mission --YouTube

The launch machine, Long March 2F, takes off while spewing fierce smoke.

Shenzhou 12 will be China's first manned spacecraft launch since 2016. In 2016, the manned spacecraft '

Shenzhou 11 ' docked with the in-orbit experimental module ' Tiangong-2 ', and two astronauts conducted a 33-day mission in Tiangong-2.

It was aboard the No. 12 Shenzhou is, serve as a captain in the original fighter pilot

wins聶海with Mr. (56 years old), RyuhakuAkira Mr. (54 years old), YuHiroshinami three of Mr. (45 years old). Mr. Satoshi is a veteran of this third mission, 'This mission will be the first manned flight as part of the construction of China's space station. We are very fortunate to start the first phase of space station construction. And I have a lot of hope, 'he commented the day before the launch.

Then, at 15:54, about 6 hours and 30 minutes after the launch, Shenzhou 12 succeeded in docking with the core module Tenwa. In the embedded movie below, you can see the moment of docking from the viewpoint of the Tenwa side of the space station.

The core module Tenwa is visible in the foreground, and Shenzhou 12 is visible in the back.

Tenwa and Shenzhou 12 approach each other ...

Succeeded in docking.

Also recorded is the Earth's control team giving a big applause. Although the astronaut manually performed some steps, most of the process was performed by the autopilot function by the computer. By using the autopilot function, the docking process has been shortened from two days to just a few hours, and it is said that speeding up the docking technology is also effective when astronauts evacuate in an emergency.

Then, the three astronauts moved from Shenzhou 12 to the habitation module Tenwa. You can see how it moves from Shenzhou 12 to Tenwa in the following movie.

Shenzhou-12 astronauts enter space station core module --YouTube

An astronaut operates a cock marked 'Tenwa No. 1' ...

Opened the entrance to Tenwa.

The inside of Tenna looks like this. It is packed with a large amount of luggage, and the walls are lined with monitors, various devices, and storage-like spaces. It also has three separate bedrooms, a shower and a gym.

Tenwa is said to have a long side of 16.6 meters and a diameter of 4.2 meters, but since the inside is even narrower, it seems difficult to pass each other under low gravity. China is aiming for full operation of Tianzhou around the end of 2022, and astronauts aboard Shenzhou 12 will wear spacesuits transported by Tianzhou 2 for extravehicular activities and robot arm performance tests. , The work such as confirmation of the life support system is planned.

Astronauts arriving in Shenzhou 12 this time are planning to stay for three months, and are expected to break the 33-day record achieved by astronauts Shenzhou 11 in 2016. 'We have been preparing for the Shenzhou 12 mission for over a year and I think we can handle it, and we are completely confident in carrying out the mission,' said Captain Satoshi. I am commenting.

China's space station development is progressing rapidly against the backdrop of the exclusion from the ISS. The initial stage of the mission will be conducted only by Chinese astronauts, but in the future it has indicated that it will welcome astronauts from other countries. 'There are many countries that want (to join the Tengu) and we will accept them in the future,' said Zhou Jianping, general designer of China's manned spaceflight project.

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