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China sends its 1st Civilian to space


Source: IE

 Context: China’s Shenzhou-16 spacecraft has been launched with three astronauts, including the first Chinese civilian, to the Tiangong space station.

Aim of the mission: To replace the crew of Shenzhou-15 and conduct tests and experiments over the next five months.


About Tiangong Space Station:

Tiangong Space Station
DescriptionIt is a Chinese space station being built in low Earth orbit as a part of the China Manned Space Program.
AltitudeBetween 340 and 450 kilometres above the Earth
Long-term operationOperational for at least ten years
Module LaunchTianhe” (Harmony of the Heavens) module in 2021
China Manned Space ProgrammeHuman space program with a “three-step” approach

1.      Launch manned spaceships for basic human space technologies

2.      Launch Space Labs for R&D and long-term utilization

3.      Construct China’s Space Station for large-scale utilization

Importance for ChinaChina is the third country to send astronauts and build a space station, after US and Russia.
India’s Space Station ProgramIndia plans to launch its own space station by 2030, of about 20 tonnes (smaller than ISS) to conduct microgravity experiments. It will accommodate astronauts for up to 20 days in space (an extension of the Gaganyaan mission)





Tags: China sends its 1st Civilian to space, Tiangong Space Station