Shenzhou-12 shuttle launches by China carrying 3 astronauts!

The Shenzhou-12 mission is the latest stage in China’s ambitious plans to be the only country to own and run its own space station.

China launched three Chinese astronauts from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre to an under-construction space station on Thursday.

The crew is led by 56-year-old Nie Haisheng. It also includes another veteran Liu Boming, 54, and 45-year-old Tang Hongbo, who is on his first trip into space, South China Morning Post reported. 

Shenzhou-12

China launches Shenzhou-12 shuttle carrying three astronauts

The men will spend three months aboard the Tianhe module some 380km (236 miles) above the Earth.

It will be China’s longest crewed space mission to date and the first in nearly five years. On Thursday, their Shenzhou-12 capsule successfully took off atop its Long March 2F rocket.

Lift-off from the Jiuquan satellite launch centre in the Gobi desert was at 09:22 Beijing time.

The Shenzhou-12 mission is the latest stage in China’s ambitious plans to be the only country to own and run its own space station, expected to be completed less than two years from now.

Tiangong will rival the International Space Station (ISS) which is backed by the United States, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan. 

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Nie made no secret that the mission is closely tied with China’s ambition to become a world-leading space power.

China to launch manned Shenzhou-12 spacecraft on Thursday - CGTN

“This mission will be the first manned flight as part of the China space station’s construction. I’m very fortunate to kick off the first leg of the space station’s construction and I have many hopes,” he told reporters at the Jiuquan launch center.

Tiangong will rival the International Space Station (ISS) which is backed by the United States, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan. 

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Nie made no secret that the mission is closely tied with China’s ambition to become a world-leading space power.

“This mission will be the first manned flight as part of the China space station’s construction. I’m very fortunate to kick off the first leg of the space station’s construction and I have many hopes,” he told reporters at the Jiuquan launch center

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