Chinese manned space mission docks with space station: Xinhua

Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft carrying astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong blasts off from the launchpad in Jiuquan, China. China Daily/via REUTERS

Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft carrying astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong blasts off from the launchpad in Jiuquan, China. China Daily/via REUTERS

China’s Shenzhou 11 manned spacecraft has successfully docked with China’s Tiangong 2 space lab, and two astronauts have entered the lab, China’s official news agency Xinhua said Wednesday.

China is the third country after the United States and Russia to complete space rendezvous and docking procedures, Xinhua said.

According to the mission schedule, the astronauts will remain in the space station for 30 days and spend a total of 33 days in space, making the mission the longest in space so far for China.

In a manned space mission in 2013, three Chinese astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with a space laboratory, the Tiangong 1.

Advancing China’s space program is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power.

China insists its space program is for peaceful purposes.

Shenzhou 11, whose name translates as “Divine Vessel”, will also carry three experiments designed by Hong Kong middle school students and selected in a science competition, including one that will take silk worms into space.

The U.S. Defense Department has highlighted China’s increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed at preventing other nations using space-based assets in a crisis.

China has been working to develop its space program for military, commercial and scientific purposes, but is still playing catch-up to established space powers the United States and Russia.

(Reporting By Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Richard Pullin)

Source: Reuters “Chinese manned space mission docks with space station: Xinhua”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


One Comment on “Chinese manned space mission docks with space station: Xinhua”

  1. Joseph says:

    Now that China has established itself in space, China should broaden its cooperation in space with its allies. Space cooperation would boost the prestige of everyone involved. In return the ally will be grateful and drawn closer and more intimately to China. With kind of bond, these allies would not be easily provoked by the American and it Western cronies anymore. After all who wants to join lesser nations to make problem to a great nation. It is better for China to initiate regional cooperation in space with ASEAN and Russia than with NASA and ESA. Unlike the bankrupt EU And USA, ASEAN and Russia are rich and full of talented people that have potential develop full-fledged space enterprises. The West can and will surely try to entice them to develop their own space program to try to rival China, and perhaps start another SCS debacle. However, with cooperation, China can lead the region to combine their resources to develop unified space force as well as eliminating potentially damaging rivalry. This way China could move forward with the region to a constructive future, as well as preventing another foreign-incited debacles such as the SCS debacle. The NASA and ESA is finished. With proposed cooperation, they only try to prolong their existence and should be left for dead. They would not share their technology with China or any other Asian nations anyway, and we do not need their increasingly obsolete technology as we develop our own.