China to launch Shenzhou-14 on June 5

Updated: Jun 5

The mission will have three astronauts and will last six months to complete in-orbit space station (Tiangong) construction.


CZ-2F/G rocket poised at firing platform in Jiuquan

China is to launch three astronauts on the Shenzhou -14 spacecraft to its Tiangong space station from Jiuquan Space Center around 02:44:07 UTC on June 5, 2022 (10:44:07 Beijing time on the 5th, or 22:44:07 EDT on the 4th). The three astronauts are expected to remain aboard the Tianhe module for about six months. The crew will receive two new modules, the Wentian and Mengtian, in July and October this year.


Shenzhou 14 Infographics, by S.I and HDE

Shenzhou 14 Crew

Chinese astronauts Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe have been selected to carry out the Shenzhou-14 space mission, the China Manned Space Engineering Office said at a press conference on Saturday. The Crew: Chen Dong as Commander, and Liu Wang and Rookie astronaut Cai Xuzhe as Mission Operators

Crew of Shenzhou 14; 蔡旭哲 (Cai Xuzhe) 陈冬 (Chen Dong), and 刘洋 (Liu Yang),

Chen Dong has performed the Shenzhou 11 manned mission, Liu Yang has performed the Shenzhou 9 manned mission, and the first mission for astronaut Cai Xuzhe, and the three astronauts are the second batch of astronauts in China (according to reports).


Chen Dong; born in December 1978 at Luoyang, Henan, member of the Communist Party of China, master's degree, enlisted in the PLA army in August 1997, and joined the Communist Party of China in April 1999; now he is the first-level aerospace team of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Astronaut, Colonel rank; May 2010. Selected as the second batch of astronauts in the PRC; in October 2016, he carried out the Shenzhou 11 manned flight mission to the Tiangong-2 station; in December 2016, he was awarded the honorary title of hero astronaut by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Council and the Central Military Commission, and was awarded the third-level aerospace merit medal. After a comprehensive assessment. He was selected as the astronaut crew of the Shenzhou-14 manned mission and served as the commander.


Liu Yang, born in October 1978 in Zhengzhou, Henan, member of the Communist Party of China, doctorate, enlisted in the army in August 1997, and joined the Communist Party of China in May 2001. Now she is a specialist astronaut of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Astronaut Brigade, with the rank of colonel. In May 2010, she was selected as the second batch of astronauts in the PRC; In June 2012, she carried out the Shenzhou 9 manned flight mission, she was the first Chinese women in space, in October 2012; she was awarded the honorary title of hero astronaut by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Council and the Central Military Commission, and was awarded the third-level aerospace meritorious service. medal. After a comprehensive evaluation, she is selected for the Shenzhou 14 manned flight mission as Mission Specialist.


Cai Xuzhe, native of Shenzhou, Hebei, member of the Communist Party of China, master's degree, born in May 1976, enlisted in the army in September 1995, joined the Communist Party of China in May 1998, and is currently the second astronaut brigade of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Class astronaut, rank of colonel. In May 2010, he was selected as the second batch of astronauts in PRC. After a comprehensive evaluation and he is selected for the Shenzhou 14 manned flight mission as Mission Specialist.


Launch Vehicle

Long March 2F/G and Shenzhou spacecraft (Renders by Homem Do Espaço)

The Long March 2F (Chinese: 长征二号F火箭 Changzheng 2F), also known as the CZ-2F, LM-2F and Shenjian (神箭, "Divine Arrow") is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket, part of the Long March 2 rocket family. Designed to launch crewed Shenzhou spacecraft, the Long March 2F is a human-rated two-stage version of the Long March 2E rocket, which in turn was based on the Long March 2C launch vehicle. It is launched from complex SLS at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The Long March 2F made its maiden flight on 19 November 1999, with the Shenzhou 1 spacecraft. After the flight of Shenzhou 3, CPC General Secretary and President Jiang Zemin named the rocket "Shenjian" meaning "Divine Arrow".


Shenzhou 14 Mission

Shenzhou-14 mission patch

Earlier this month, the Tianzhou-4 cargo spacecraft docked at Tianhe, carrying supplies in preparation for the arrival of the new crew. The Tianzhou-4 cargo spacecraft transported 6 tons, with a total of more than 200 items, including equipment, food, clothing, daily necessities and experimental items. Among them, the largest and heaviest single item was a momentum gyroscope, weighing 170 kg. In addition, the spacecraft carries 750 kg of additional fuel, which is used for the Tianhe core module to maintain the space station's orbital height. The freighter sent "cosmic-level mail" to the "space travel team". In the cargo there are mainly supplies, but also space station maintenance equipment, apparatus for scientific experiments and a refrigerator to store results of scientific and medical experiments. It also includes a variety of seeds to be exposed to radiation in low orbit and later analyzed and used on Earth.

The presence of a woman, Yang, the first Chinese woman in space, is suggested by some cargo aboard the space freighter TianZhou-4, where Shanghai Jialan Group's high-tech beauty products are packed: Meizu Space Cream, Natural Hall Men's Glacier Moisturizing Lotion and Natural Hall Small Golden Pen Lipstick.


Shenzhou 8-ton spacecraft

The Shenzhou-14 crew, in coordination with the ground control center, will complete the assembly and construction of the space station, gradually transforming it from a single module to a three-module complex, according to scientist Huang Weifen. Crew members will enter the Wentian and Mengtian lab modules. In addition, in coordination with the ground center, they will test the complex with two modules, with three modules, large and small manipulators, as well as the air chamber output functions. Astronauts will use this inner tube for spacewalks for the first time.


In turn, the Shenzhou-15 crew will carry out various work in space; collect, test and tune payload within modules; with the help of manipulators, the payload will be installed outside the station. In addition, astronauts will operate, control and maintain the orbital complex, which will consist of three modules and three spacecraft.

The two crews will carry out tasks such as monitoring their health in orbit, defense exercises, training, inspecting and testing platforms, maintaining equipment, and managing resources and materials.


The modules will be launched on Long March 5B rockets from Wenchang, southern China. Jiuquan is the only launch site capable of manned missions, with the space station's 41.5 degree orbital Inclination chosen to allow Jiuquan's to access Human Spaceflight. The new modules will be coupled to the Tianhe forwarding port. The crew will co-operate with ground control to transpose the new modules to radial docking ports using a large robotic arm.


Long March 5B Y3 rocket parts arrived at Wenchang

The Wentian (“Search for the Sky”), is the one that will feature the new air chamber for extra vehicular activities, along with a small robotic arm and additional accommodation that will allow the transfer of the crew. The first of these will be carried out when the Shenzhou-14 team receives the Shenzhou-15, which is due to be launched in December. The Tiangong complex will then host six astronauts for a period of days.

The new lock on the Wentian will become the main entry-exit point for extra-vehicular activities (EVAs). The Shenzhou-12 and 13 crews used the Tianhe docking hub for EVA inlet and outlet. The Shenzhou-14 crew will conduct EVAs, a series of experiments and participate in science outreach and outreach activities.


Tiangong will enter its operational period with the completion of the Shenzhou-15 mission and will host crews for six-month periods. Newly selected payload specialists and other civilian astronauts will be eligible to fly to the station. The Tiangong complex is designed to operate for at least ten years. It can be expanded to six modules and receive international astronauts. China is also considering making the station available for tourist visits and will open it up to trade missions.