The Chinese Manned Space Agency (CMSA) reported that Taikonauts Cai Cigang, Wang Yaping and Yi Guangfu entered the core module of their station.
Shincou-13 was launched yesterday at 12:23 a.m. local time from the Cichuan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert of northwest China, and the shuttle docked with the space station’s core module about 6 hours later.
The Taikonaut crew will be in orbit for a record 6 months for the Chinese space program. The mission will test critical technologies that are required to build the space station.
The team will be the first Taikonaut group to celebrate the Chinese New Year Spring Festival in space.
The crew includes 55-year-old Head of Mission Cai, 41-year-old Taikonaut Vang Yaping, and 41-year-old Yi Guangfu, who made the first space trip.
Cai, who took command of the expedition, was previously the Taikonaut who carried out the first spacewalk on behalf of China on the Shincou-7 mission, which crossed Earth orbit in 2008. Cai was awarded the title “Space Expedition Hero” after the flight.
THE FIRST FEMALE TAYCONOT TAKEN TO THE SPACE STATION
The Taikonautin Vang in the team took part in the expedition “Shincou-10”, which crossed earth orbit in 2013 and anchored in the “Tiengong-1” module, the first prototype of the space station, and the second went to Liu Yang, who participated in the mission “Shincou-9” took part, into space, a Chinese woman.
Yı, who is going on a space mission for the first time, joined the second generation taikonaut group in 2010.
CHINA’S PLAN TO BUILD A SPACE STATION
China is working to build its own space station as the United States bans cooperation on space exploration and prevents their participation in the International Space Station (ISS) program.
Consisting of a core module, two laboratory modules and a space telescope, the station will be roughly the same size as Russia’s now decommissioned Mir space station.
China launched the station’s core module called Tienhi (Heavenly Harmony) on April 29. On May 29th, a supply trip was organized with the freight shuttle Tiencou-2 (Skyship-2) to the train station.
The first Taikonaut team, consisting of Nie Haishing, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, was sent to the station on June 17th with the shuttle “Shincou-12”.
The laboratory modules “Vintien” (Seeking the Sky) and “Mingtien” (Dreaming the Sky) will also be sent into space in 2022.
After the main skeleton is formed, the space telescope “Shuntien” (Wandering the Sky) is added to the station as a separate module in the following years.
The station is expected to be ready by 2022 with four manned flights and four cargo flights.