Science and Technology: Six Months in Space

Astronauts

Chinese astronauts Ye Guangfu, Zhai Zhigang and Wang Yaping (from left to right). Photo: XinHua / dpa

(Photo: dpa)

The Shenzhou 13 spacecraft is scheduled to launch on Saturday evening at 12:23 pm local time The Shenzhou 13 spacecraft is scheduled to take off on Saturday evening at 12:23 local time (Friday 6:23 pm CEST) with a “Long March 2F” rocket from Jiuquan Space Station (Gansu Province) in the edge of the Gobi Desert. , according to a spokesperson for China’s manned spaceflight program.

The astronauts will live in the main unit “Tianhe” (Heavenly Harmony) of the space station under construction. Recently, three Chinese astronauts spent three months there, the previous record for China. In addition to the 55-year-old commander Zhai Zhigang and 41-year-old Ye Guangfu, Chinese astronaut Wang Yaping will fly into space for the first time since 2013.

After 2013, this was the second flight of the 41-year-old, who was the second Chinese woman to fly into space in 2013 and lived in the Tiangong 1 space laboratory. China’s first female astronaut was Liu Yang in 2012. According to the space program, Wang Yaping will be the first Chinese woman to complete a spacewalk on this mission.

The three-person crew wants to test the unit’s core systems on a long-haul flight, work outside the spaceship and conduct science experiments. Prior to their stay, six tons of supplies, fuel and equipment were brought to the base unit on a cargo flight at the end of September.

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Two more units will be connected to “Tianhe” next year in order to complete the Chinese space station, which will then be called “Tiangong” (Heavenly Palace).

China’s Manned Space Program, CMS

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