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Three Chinese astronauts of Shenzhou 14 successfully enters the Tiangong Space Station

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

The Shenzhou 14 spacecraft arrived at Tiangong's "Tianhe" core module about 7 hours after lifting off at Jiuquan Spaceport.

Shenzhou-14 taikonauts Cai Xuzhe, Chen Dong and Liu Yang (from left) the third crew of China's Space Station entered the Tianhe core module on June 5.

China's three-person Shenzhou 14 mission arrived at Tianhe, the core module of the under-construction Tiangong, early Sunday morning (June 5), about six hours and 58 minutes after lifting off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert. The capsule docked at the Radial Earth-facing port of Tianhe at 5:42 a.m. EDT (0942 GMT), according to a Weibo post from the China Manned Space Agency.

The three Shenzhou 14 astronauts — commander Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe — are expected to spend about six months aboard the 54-foot-long (16.6 meters) Tianhe ("Harmony of the Heavens"), which launched to low Earth orbit in April 2021.

The trio is slated to carry out the verification of big and small robotic arms, spacewalks, and the construction of payload outside the cabin, the sources learned from the Shenzhou spacecraft developer with the state-owned aerospace contractor China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC)

The Shenzhou-14 crew's stay in orbit will see nine modifications of the space station combination, with five rendezvous and dockings, three separations and two module relocations, which makes it the most complicated in-orbit mission to date, Guo Zhi, a senior engineer with the Xi'an Satellite Control Center,

The center vowed to continue to update its computing system, optimize its orbit calculation mode, and combining ground station, space-borne monitoring technology as well as data from China's home-developed BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) to ensure the successful execution of the mission.

Like during the previous missions, the Shenzhou-14 crew will give Tiangong classes to earthbound youngsters, and will for the first time use the airlock cabin in the Wentian module to exit the station for extravehicular activities.

Upon completion, China will establish a fully operational national space laboratory.

  • The laboratory will contain 25 cabinets for a variety of scientific experiments, each of which can function as an individual lab, reaching an overall international advanced level, Lin Xiqiang, deputy head of the CMSA Engineering Office

  • The Wentian lab will mainly focus on the study of space life sciences, which can support the growth, development, genetics and aging of multiple species of plants, animals and microorganisms under space conditions.

  • The Mengtian lab will be oriented to microgravity scientific researches and is equipped with experimental cabinets for fluid physics, materials science, combustion science, basic physics and space technology experiments

  • The basic structure of the space station will be completed during this mission, consisting of the Tianhe core cabin and the two lab modules - the Wentian expected in July and Mengtian in October.

  • The Wentian module along with the Long March-5B Y3 carrier rocket has already been transported to the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on May 29 for assembly and testing, announced the CMSA.


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