Shenzhou-16 mission begins: China’s lunar exploration mission

Shenzhou-16 Mission: China successfully launched the Shenzhou-16 mission to its space station on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. The spacecraft, carrying three astronauts, took off from the Center launched the Jiuquan satellite located in the Gobi Desert in northwest China at 9:31 a.m. (01:31 GMT).

The Shenzhou-16 mission marks the fifth manned mission to the Tiangong space station since launch in 2021. The Shenzhou-16 crew will replace the three-member crew of the Shenzhou-16. 15, who have been stationed at the space station since November 2022.

Shenzhou-16 Astronaut mission

The three astronauts on the Shenzhou-16 mission are Jing Haipeng(56), who will serve as mission commander, Zhu Yangzhu as flight engineer and Gui Haichao who is also a payload expert. Jing Haipeng is an experienced astronaut who has participated in three previous missions to the Tiangong space station. On the other hand, Zhu Yangzhu and Gui Haichao are embarking on their first spaceflight.

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<p lang="vi" thư mục="ltr">China successfully launched the Shenzhou-16 manned spacecraft, carrying three astronauts to its space station complex for a five-month mission.  <a href="">#GLOBALink</a> <a href=""></a></p>
<p>— Chinese Xinhua News Agency (@XHNews) <a href="">May 30, 2023</a></p></blockquote>
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<p>Gui Haichao, who studied aeronautics at Beihang University before pursuing postdoctoral research in Canada, was the first Chinese civilian to fly into space.</p>
<p><em>“It is an honor for me to serve as commander for the third time. This time, I am mainly responsible for organization and coordination, including space-earth communications and mission command,” </em>Jing told reporters during a press conference. <em>“In particular, I must ensure the safety of our mission and crew.”</em></p>
<h2>Shenzhou-16 mission execution time</h2>
<p>The expected duration of the Shenzhou-16 mission is 6 months.  During their time on the space station, astronauts will participate in various scientific experiments and perform maintenance tasks.  Additionally, they will test new technologies that could potentially be used in upcoming missions to the moon and Mars.</p>
<h2>Significance of the Shenzhou-16 mission</h2>
<p>The launch of the Shenzhou-16 mission is an important milestone for China’s space program.  It demonstrates China’s growing capabilities in space exploration and its ambition to become a major participant in the global space race.</p>
<p>The mission not only highlights China’s advances in space exploration but also signifies its growing economic and political influence.  A successful mission would enhance China’s reputation and promote its influence around the world.</p>
<p>China’s ambitions in space are further demonstrated by its plan to send a crew to the moon before 2030. Construction of the Tiangong space station, consisting of three modules, was completed in late last year after a series of 11 crewed and uncrewed missions since April 2021.</p>
<p dir=China successfully launched the Shenzhou-16 manned spacecraft, sending three astronauts to the country’s space station complex for a five-month mission. #GLOBALink

– Chinese Xinhua News Agency (@XHNews)
May 30, 2023

China intends to expand its space outpost and is planning to insert the next module into the existing T-shaped space station to create a cross-shaped structure. It is worth noting that China developed its space station after being removed from the International Space Station in 2011, mainly due to US concerns about China’s space program’s relationship with People’s Liberation Army.

The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) has reiterated its readiness to actively seek international cooperation on the Tiangong project. According to CMSA, “The crew will be aboard the Tiangong for about five months, during which time they will conduct scientific experiments, including a “high-precision space-time-frequency system.”.

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