The first Chinese to fly to the Heavenly Palace space station | Science

China is building a heavenly palace, its own space station to orbit the Earth, and the first residents will leave there next week. Three astronauts, also known as astronauts, are likely to be launched on Thursday. They are scheduled to stay in their new home for three months, hundreds of kilometers above the ground.

The launch will take place from Jiuquan Cosmodrome. It is located in the vast Gobi Desert, not far from the border with neighboring Mongolia. The mission is called Shenzhou 12 (Divine Ark 12).

The destination for astronauts is called Tiangong in Chinese for Heavenly Palace. The construction of the complex has just begun. So far it consists of a long tube 16 meters long and 4 meters wide. The first part is Tianhe, Heavenly Harmony. Tianhe was launched in April. In May, an already unmanned cargo ship brought supplies to the first residents.

The next two parts of the space station are scheduled to launch next year. They are called Wentian (Seeking Heaven) and Mengtian (Dreaming of Heaven).


China is particularly ambitious in space. The country first flew a person into space in 2003. It was the third country to do so after the Soviet Union/Russia and the United States. The country recently succeeded in placing an unmanned vehicle on the surface of Mars. In 2019, China was the first to land on the far side of the moon.

The leader of the flight to Heaven’s Palace is 56-year-old Air Force pilot Ni Haisheng. It has been part of the Chinese space program since 1998 and was a candidate to become the first Chinese in space. This choice fell on someone else, but Ni participated in the second Chinese space flight, in 2005.

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In 2013, he returned to space, to an experimental space station, in preparation for the next mission. Join me two new astronauts. 55-year-old Deng Qingming and 40-year-old Ye Guangfu, both pilots in the Air Force, are traveling into space for the first time.

Megan Vasquez

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