China’s historic Shenzhou-12 manned mission takes off
On June 17, 2021, China’s historic Shenzhou-12 manned mission took off carrying three astronauts to its emerging Chinese Space Station (CSS), which is set to be fully operational by 2022.
A Long March 2F rocket transporting the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft bound for the space station module Tianhe blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gobi Desert, northwestern Gansu province, China.
Astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo will work and stay on Tianhe, the living quarters of the future Chinese Space Station, for three months.
Named Tiangong (‘Heavenly Palace’), the Chinese Space Station will be one-third the size of the International Space Station (ISS). The CSS is planned to be fully operational by 2022. It is expected that the Chinese Space Station will be operational for approximately 10 years. However, experts are saying that it might “last more than 15 years with appropriate maintenance and repairs”.
China began laying the foundation for the CSS launch a decade ago. In September 2011, the country launched a prototype space station called Tiangong-1 to continue improving its human spaceflight skills and test the technologies needed to assemble a large space station in low Earth orbit.
NASA eyes late September for Artemis I launch
NASA has adjusted the launch date of the Artemis I mission following several delays. ...
New Shepherd rocket explodes during uncrewed Blue Origin launch
Blue Origin’s rocket booster explodes during an uncrewed flight, with the company reporting that the capsule remai...
Space Launch System vs Starship: the battle of the mega rockets continues
While not officially billed as a rival, the Starship is still in competition with the SLS for the spotlight – and...