Shenzhou-12: China’s First Human Spaceflight since 2016

Chinese spacecraft, Shenzhou-19, will blast off from Gobi Desert on a Long March rocket soon. Spacecraft will ferry three men to an orbiting space module where they will stay for three-month. This will be the first time China will send humans into space since 2016.

Highlights

Shenzhou-12 means Divine Vessel. It will be third out of 11 missions that China needs to complete China’s space station by 2022. Out of 11, four will be missions with people on board. Thus, a total of 12 Chinese astronauts will go into space.

About Shenzhou-12 Mission

This human spaceflight will also carry into space the hopes of some in Earth’s most populous nation. Shenzhou-12 crew will live on the Tianhe which is a cylinder having 16.6 metres length and 4.2 metres diameter. Crew will stay in space for three months, breaking its own record of 30 days stay in 2016 mission.

Background

Chinese astronauts have relatively low international profile currently because United States law banned NASA from any connection with China. Thus, Chinese astronauts have not been to International Space Station for more-than-two-decade. Thus, China is launching several space missions with the aim of becoming a major spacefaring power by 2030. Recently, in May 2021 it became second country to put a rover on Mars.

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