The Shenzhou-12 spacecraft, carrying three crew members, took off from Jiu Xin Station in northwest China Thursday morning.
The spacecraft will be attached to the central element of the celestial space station, where the astronauts are scheduled to spend three months. Their mission is the third in a row of eleven that the needed cargo and crew can arrive by the end of next year. to build the space station .
According to the Chinese Human Space Agency, the three-man crew will use different tests to verify the operation of the space station. Among other things, they are responsible for evaluating recycling and life support systems, robotic arms, and managing various materials and waste. Two space flights are planned, during which the expanded pumping system will be installed, as well as space exploration and technological experiments.
The space station’s central element was launched on April 29, and two more elements are scheduled to be deployed next year. According to previous reports, the space station is scheduled to operate for 15 years, and the crew can stay on it for up to 6 months at a time.
With today’s release, China is sending people into space for the seventh time. There was an example of this as recently as five years ago. The three-month mission is the longest in the history of Chinese space exploration so far: In 2016, the Shenzhou-11 crew spent 33 days in space.